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Polyvinyl alcohol is used to 3D print (fused deposition modelling) sampling matrices for bacterial detection. A specific configuration was designed using Computer-Aided Design software. The mechanical properties of the printed samples were studied using uniaxial tensile testing, and compared to those of the original Polyvinyl alcohol filament, with and without heat treatment. The effects of different factors such as UV treatment, printing speed, infill density and printing direction on the mechanical properties of the printed samples including strength, strain and modulus of elasticity were studied. The results show that the effect of the fused deposition modelling process on the mechanical properties of the printed Polyvinyl alcohol cannot be explained by its exposure to heat. UV treatment reduced the strength, characteristic strains and Young's modulus. It makes Polyvinyl alcohol samples brittle. The effects of printing speed and the infill density on the mechanical properties of printed samples can be no linear. An unexpected relation between printing direction and mechanical properties was demonstrated by the studied specimens that needs further theoretical understanding. There is a huge scatter in strength of PVA samples compared with typical engineering materials, and in the fracture strain of original PVA filament, the 3D printing process can reduce the scatter but only by a limited extent. To summarise, there is a sophisticated relation between printing parameters and the mechanical properties of the printed Polyvinyl alcohol. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Alaa Al-Taie, Jingzhe Pan, Peter Polak, Michael R Barer, Xiaoxiao Han, Andrew P Abbott. Mechanical properties of 3-D printed polyvinyl alcohol matrix for detection of respiratory pathogens. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 2020 Dec;112:104066

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PMID: 32942228

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