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  • 4D Printing Structures for Extreme Temperatures Using Metakaolin Based Geopolymers

    Abstract: Geopolymers (GPs) are a class of amorphous, aluminosilicate-based ceramics that cure at room temperature. GPs are formed by mixing an aluminosilicate source, which is metakaolin in this case, with an alkali activator solution, which can be either sodium or potassium water glass. GPs have attracted interest for use in structural applications over the past few decades because they have superior mechanical properties to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Additionally, they can tolerate much higher temperatures and produce a fraction of the CO₂ compared to OPC. This project aims to develop geopolymer composites for 4D printing (the fourth dimension being time) and test their mechanical properties. Rheology and the effects of curing in ambient conditions will be evaluated for fresh geopolymer. Freeze-thaw resistance will be evaluated on potentially printable composites for extreme temperature resistance, etc.
  • Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES): Materials and Testing

    Abstract: Complex military operations often result in U.S. forces remaining at deployed locations for long periods. In such cases, more sustainable facilities are required to better accommodate and protect forward-deployed forces. Current efforts to develop safer, more sustainable operating facilities for contingency bases involve construction activities that require a redesign of the types and characteristics of the structures constructed, that reduce the resources required to build, and that decrease the resources needed to operate and maintain the completed facilities. The Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES) project was undertaken to develop the capability to “print” custom-designed expeditionary structures on demand, in the field, using locally available materials with the minimum number of personnel. This work investigated large-scale automated “additive construction” (i.e., 3D printing with concrete) for construction applications. This report, which documents ACES materials and testing, is one of four technical reports, each of which details a major area of the ACES research project, its research processes, and its associated results. There major areas include System Requirements, Construction, and Performance; Energy and Modeling; Materials and Testing; Architectural and Structural Analysis.
  • Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES): Energy Modeling

    Abstract: The need to conduct complex operations over time results in U.S. forces remaining in deployed locations for long periods. In such cases, more sustainable facilities are required to better accommodate and protect forward deployed forces. Current efforts to develop safer, more sustainable operating facilities for contingency bases involve construction activities that redesign the types and characteristics of the structures constructed, reduce the resources required to build, and reduce resources needed to operate and maintain the completed facilities. The Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES) project was undertaken to develop the capability to “print” custom-designed expeditionary structures on demand, in the field, using locally available materials with the minimum number of personnel. This work investigated large-scale automated “additive construction” (i.e., 3D printing with concrete) for construction applications. This document, which documents ACES energy and modeling, is one of four technical reports, each of which details a major area of the ACES research project, its research processes, and associated results, including: System Requirements, Construction, and Performance; Energy and Modeling; Materials and Testing; Architectural and Structural Analysis.
  • Environmental Applications of 3D Printing Polymer Composites for Dredging Operations

    Abstract: This Dredging Operations Environmental Research (DOER) technical note disseminates novel methods to monitor and reduce contaminant mobility and bioavailability in water, sediments, and soils. These method advancements are enabled by additive manufacturing (i.e., three-dimensional [3D] printing) to deploy and retrieve materials that adsorb contaminants that are traditionally applied as unbound powders. Examples of sorbents added as amendments for remediation of contaminated sediments include activated carbon, biochar, biopolymers, zeolite, and sand caps. Figure 1 provides examples of sorbent and photocatalytic particles successfully compounded and 3D printed using polylactic acid as a binder. Additional adsorptive materials may be applicable and photocatalytic materials (Friedmann et al. 2019) may be applied to degrade contaminants of concern into less hazardous forms. This technical note further describes opportunities for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project managers and the water and sediment resource management community to apply 3D printing of polymers containing adsorptive filler materials as a prototyping tool and as an on-site, on-demand manufacturing capability to remediate and monitor contaminants in the environment. This research was funded by DOER project 19-13, titled “3D Printed Design for Remediation and Monitoring of Dredged Material.”