Vat Photopolymerization of Reinforced Styrene-Butadiene Elastomers: A Degradable Scaffold Approach

Christopher Kasprzak, James R. Brown, Keyton Feller, Philip J. Scott, Viswanath Meenakshisundaram, Chris Williams, Timothy Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Vat photopolymerization (VP) is a high-throughput additive manufacturing modality that also offers exceptional feature resolution and surface finish; however, the process is constrained by a limited selection of processable photocurable resins. Low resin viscosity (<10 Pa·s) is one of the most stringent process-induced constraints on resin processability, which in turn limits the mechanical performance of printed resin systems. Recently, the authors created a VP-processable photosensitive latex resin, where compartmentalization of the high molecular weight polymer chains into discrete particles resulted in the decoupling of viscosity from molecular weight. However, the monomers used to form the hydrogel green body resulted in decreased ultimate material properties due to the high cross-link density. Herein, we report a novel scaffold that allows for facile UV-based AM and simultaneously enhances the final part's material properties. This is achieved with a chemically labile acetal-containing cross-linker in conjunction with N-vinylpyrrolidone, which forms a glassy polymer after photocuring. Subsequent reactive extraction cleaves the cross-links and liberates the glassy polymer, which provides mechanical reinforcement of the geometrically complex VP-printed elastomer. With only a 0.1 wt % loading of photoinitiator, G′/G′′ crossover times of less than 1 s and green body plateau moduli nearing 105Pa are obtained. In addition, removal of the hydrophilic and thermally labile scaffold results in decreased water uptake and increased thermal stability of the final printed part. Ultimate strain and stress values of over 650% and 8.5 MPa, respectively, are achieved, setting a new benchmark for styrene-butadiene VP elastomers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18965-18973
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 27 2022


  • acetal
  • latex
  • reactive extraction
  • reinforced elastomer
  • scaffold
  • vat photopolymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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