Direct Ink Writing Glass: A Preliminary Step for Optical Application

Nan B., Gołębiewski P., Buczyński R., Galindo-Rosales F.J., Ferreira J.M.F.


13(7), 2020, art. 1636, 10.3390/ma13071636

In this paper, we present a preliminary study and conceptual idea concerning 3D printing water-sensitive glass, using a borosilicate glass with high alkali and alkaline oxide contents as an example in direct ink writing. The investigated material was prepared in the form of a glass frit, which was further ground in order to obtain a fine powder of desired particle size distribution. In a following step, inks were prepared by mixing the fine glass powder with Pluoronic F-127 hydrogel. The acquired pastes were rheologically characterized and printed using a Robocasting device. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) experiments were performed for base materials and the obtained green bodies. After sintering, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses were carried out in order to examine microstructure and the eventual presence of crystalline phase inclusions. The results confirmed that the as obtained inks exhibit stable rheological properties despite the propensity of glass to undergo hydrolysis and could be adjusted to desirable values for 3D printing. No additional phase was observed, supporting the suitability of the designed technology for the production of water sensitive glass inks. SEM micrographs of the sintered samples revealed the presence of closed porosity, which may be the main reason of light scattering.