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RSS FeedsSensors, Vol. 19, Pages 2748: A Binder Jet Printed, Stainless Steel Preconcentrator as an In-Line Injector of Volatile Organic Compounds (Sensors)

 
 

19 june 2019 14:00:09

 
Sensors, Vol. 19, Pages 2748: A Binder Jet Printed, Stainless Steel Preconcentrator as an In-Line Injector of Volatile Organic Compounds (Sensors)
 




A conventional approach to making miniature or microscale gas chromatography (GC) components relies on silicon as a base material and MEMS fabrication as manufacturing processes. However, these devices often fail in medium-to-high temperature applications due to a lack of robust fluidic interconnects and a high-yield bonding process. This paper explores the feasibility of using metal additive manufacturing (AM), which is also known as metal 3D printing, as an alternative platform to produce small-scale microfluidic devices that can operate at a temperature higher than that which polymers can withstand. Binder jet printing (BJP), one of the metal AM processes, was utilized to make stainless steel (SS) preconcentrators (PCs) with submillimeter internal features. PCs can increase the concentration of gaseous analytes or serve as an inline injector for GC or gas sensor applications. Normally, parts printed by BJP are highly porous and thus often infiltrated with low melting point metal. By adding to SS316 powder sintering additives such as boron nitride (BN), which reduces the liquidus line temperature, we produce near full-density SS PCs at sintering temperatures much lower than the SS melting temperature, and importantly without any measurable shape distortion. Conversely, the SS PC without BN remains porous after the sintering process and unsuitable for fluidic applications. Since the SS parts, unlike Si, are compatible with machining, they can be modified to work with commercial compression fitting. The PC structures as well as the connection with the fitting are leak-free with relatively high operating pressures. A flexible membrane heater along with a resistance-temperature detector is integrated with the SS PCs for thermal desorption. The proof-of-concept experiment demonstrates that the SS PC can preconcentrate and inject 0.6% headspace toluene to enhance the detector’s response.


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29 viewsCategory: Chemistry, Physics
 
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