The present study demonstrates the manufacturing and characterization of 0-3 piezoelectric composites made of up to 10 vol% of Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) particles and photopolymer resins. The tape-casting method was used to investigate the curing behavior, PZT loading limitations and the overall feasibility of the suspensions for 3D printing. Piezoelectric composites were 3D printed with a commercial DLP type 3D printer. As a starting point, the maximum possible vol% loading of PZT ceramic for each photopolymer resin was investigated. Five different commercially available photopolymer resins from Formlabs (Somerville, MA, US) were used. It was found that the addition of PZT particles to the photopolymer increases the time required for the photopolymer to solidify because PZT particles scatter the UV light. The approximate solidification time of each composition was measured, followed by viscosity measurements. SEM imaging of the composites showed good particle dispersion with minimum agglomeration, low particle sedimentation, but the weak bond between PZT particles and the photopolymers. Best performed material composition with 10 vol% of PZT was used for 3D printing. An attempt to shorten exposure time during printing was done by adding photoinitiator TPO. Suspensions with and without TPO were 3D printed and compared.

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