Engineering Toughness in a Brittle Vinyl Ester Resin Using Urethane Acrylate for Additive Manufacturing

Mohanad Idrees, Heedong Yoon, Giuseppe R. Palmese, Nicolas J. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Thermosetting polymers tend to have a stiffness–toughness trade-off due to the opposing relationship of stiffness and toughness on crosslink density. We hypothesize that engineering the polymer network, e.g., by incorporating urethane oligomers, we can improve the toughness by introducing variations in crosslink density. In this work, we show that a brittle methacrylated Bis-GMA resin (known as DA2) is toughened by adding a commercial urethane acrylate resin (known as Tenacious) in different proportions. The formulations are 3D printed using a vat photopolymerization technique, and their mechanical, thermal, and fracture properties are investigated. Our results show that a significant amount of Tenacious 60% w/w is required to produce parts with improved toughness. However, mechanical properties drop when the Tenacious amount is higher than 60% w/w. Overall, our results show that optimizing the amount of urethane acrylate can improve toughness without significantly sacrificing mechanical properties. In fact, the results show that synergistic effects in modulus and strength exist at specific blend concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3501
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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