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Exploration of 3D Surface Patterning Effects on Friction and Adhesion Performance

Project Overview

To explore the effect of surface geometry of 3D printed designs on frictional response and adhesion performance under variable environmental conditions.  In regards to additive manufacturing research, there can exist a relationship between a system’s physical structure, material properties, manufacturing process, and dynamic behavior of a system.  This phenomenon is apparent in nature as well as in the literature with how texture can change mechanical and material properties (i.e. gecko feet, tire tread designs, shoe designs, and honeycomb structures are a few examples).

Frictional response and adhesion are  that are highly affected by parameters including surface contact area with respect to an applied load, the surface energies of the materials in contact, contact speed, material and mechanical properties, and the environmental conditions.  By gaining a better understanding of how surface patterning can affect frictional response, a design guideline for creating optimized 3D designs can be established for variable applications where enhanced adhesion performance is desirable.

For this research, the primary system used to manufacture experimental samples is the Stratasys Objet Connex 350 PolyJet Multimaterial Jetting System.  The commercial liquid photopolymer resin used is TangoBlack+, an elastomeric material after polymerization process has been completed.  Currently, experimental testing and analysis of friction results paired with design of experiments is underway to determine the significance of design parameters on frictional response.

Research Lead

Maleshia Jones


This research project is supported by an industrial sponsor.