Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte

Committee Member

Gregory Mocko

Committee Member

Enrique Martinez Saez


Thanks to ideal mechanical and electrochemical properties, Tungsten Carbide (WC) shows excellent potential as a structural electrode material for multifunctional devices. These devices have applications in electric vehicles, for example, structural fuel cells and massless batteries. In such a context, structural WC electrodes will also benefit from porosity to decrease their weight and increase their surface area and chemical reactivity. Porous WC is a useful material for this field because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and electrical properties. However, current manufacturing methods can be expensive, complex, and limited, so the intent is to provide a more simplistic and sustainable method through additive manufacturing. The research focuses on validating robocasting (paste 3D printing) as a suitable manufacturing method for complex shapes and components made from porous tungsten carbide. The technique utilizes a modified 3D printer to extrude a biopolymer precursor paste containing tungsten oxide nanoparticles into lattice shapes. Heat treatment of the printed lattice structures results in 3D cellular architectures of porous WC. The compressive strength of the WC lattices is measured in situ with electrical resistance to highlight the multifunctional capabilities. 3D scanning and analysis are implemented to determine geometric shrinkage, surface accuracy, and manufacturing-related defects. The results are used to support an understanding of process parameter effects. This analysis aims to enable control over the macroscopic and microscopic structure based on 3D printing parameters, precursor composition, and heat treatment. Eventually, the goal is to tailor and optimize the fabrication process for specific material performance.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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