4D printing of bioinspired hygromorph natural fibre composite : Green and Smart functionalities

A presentation by Antoine le Duigou is Associate-Professor in Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lome at Université de Bretagne Sud (Lorient France).

This presentation proposes a critical overview of the current state of 4D printing of hygromorph biocomposites for stimuli-responsive applications.
Hygromorph BioComposites (HBC) are categorized into a new class of smart materials that could be used for 4D printing of shape-changing mechanisms. Fibre anisotropic properties, fibre content and their orientation, polymer stiffness are material parameters that control the morphing. Slicing parameters during 4D printing such as Layer Height and various Interfilament Distance enable a programmation of the hygromorph biocomposites response. The potential of sequential complex actuation will be discussed.


Question 1: What drives you?
Curiosity and people

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
In the current environmental context, natural fibre composites are more and more developed. However, they always suffer from maturity and from technical issues (like hygrosensitivity. Biomimicry and 4D printing allow us to overcome these issues and to propose novel functionalities and novel market…

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Additive manufacturing of composites
multiscale optimization
Eco design

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Better and larger use of greener materials while changing our way of thinking when designing materials.

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Funding, but I am not original!

About Antoine Le Duigou
Awarded as Young researcher in 2017 by French Composite Society and in 2018 by European Composite Society, he works within BIONICS-group on biologically inspired shape-changing composite materials made with 4D printing.

Bionics is the science that searches plants and animals for models for technical achievements. It is based on the study of biological systems to develop by biomimicry non-biological systems likely to have technological applications.

The aim of this research group is to propose new generation of weather-adaptive, autonomously actuated shape-changing composites composite materials with reduced environmental footprint. Multi-disciplinary approach is applied by bringing together Eco-design, biomimicry and digital fabrication (3D/4D printing) with polymer/composite material sciences

Here are our key actions :

  • Describing, understanding biological nastic and tropic systems (pine cone, wheat awn, sunflower, carnivorous plant…).
  • Transferring natural microstructure-related principle to novel smarts materials with original shape-changing properties in response to environmental stimuli (moisture, temperature, radiation)
  • Design and simulation of biological and synthetic architectures
  • Improve shape-changing ability with multi-stimuli responsive materials for weather responsive (autonomous) or controlled response
  • Developing novel additive manufacturing route to embedded smart function

If you want to want to know more, visit the website.

About Antoine Le Duigou
Antoine obtained his PhD in Materials Science at Université de Bretagne Sud and Ifremer in 2010, under the supervision of Pr C Baley P Davies where he developed natural fibre biocomposites for marine application.
In 2014, he introduced the novel concept of Hygromorph biocomposites. Natural fibres’ main drawback, i.e moisture sensitivity, is for the first time turned into an advantage thanks to biomimicry paradigm. A new functionnality for natural fibres was proposed. He won Young’s researcher award from French Composites Association (AMAC) in 2017 and from European Society of Composite Materials (ESCM) in 2018.
He defended his Habilitation in 2017 dealing with Composites materials and natural fibres : From reinforcement to hygromorph actuators . He has published more than 65 internationally peer reviewed articles and has given more than 80 conferences.

Antoine will be speaking at the 2021 edition of the 4D printing & Meta Materials conference.

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