The performance of lightweight composites are predominately determined by their cellular architectures as well as the properties of solid components. In this study, we employ a novel microlattice as the supportive architecture, which consists of a periodic array of hollow tubes connected at nodes, forming a diamond unit cell. Furthermore, diamond-structured microlattice polymer was fabricated via 3D printing technique, and conformal Ni-P thin films were subsequently coated on the polymeric substrate by electroless plating, in order to reinforce the composite strength. As a result, the strength of obtained composite is significantly enhanced with the addition of diamond particles from 1.37 MPa to 2.35 MPa. More importantly, whereas the strength of the reinforced composite is increased along with the content of diamond particles in the bath, the density of the resulting materials is decreased, leading to the significantly enhanced specific strength. We believe this work opens up an innovative way to the development of lightweight engineering materials with 3D printing.
Fan Qiongqiong Gao Yan Zhao Yungang Yang Qinglin Guo 江雷