BETHESDA, MD - HRL Labs LLC, Malibu, CA, developed a new UV photopolymerization technique to create or “architect” microlattice materials in a rapid, scalable fashion. For its development of this innovative UV process, HRL was presented with an Emerging Technology Award by RadTech — The Association for UV and EB Technologies.
The microlattice materials are formed by taking advantage of a self-propagating waveguide phenomenon that can occur under certain exposure conditions. Because the waveguides propagate from a single exposure plane and can interconnect during formation, thick three-dimensional polymer microlattice materials can be formed in less than one minute with features ranging from tens of microns to millimeters. The inherent flexibility of this new approach enables precise control of the microlattice material architecture, which ultimately enables the design of a material to achieve a particular property or function. The utility of these new materials ranges from lightweight energy-absorbing structures, to thermal management materials, to bio-scaffolds.