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Thread: Laser-hardened gel?

  1. #1 Laser-hardened gel? 
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    Is there such a thing as a kind of liquid or gel which, when exposed to a certain threshold of laser light, will harden?

    Imagine a container of this gel, and a laser shot through it in such a way that the place where the laser was hardens into a stick which you can pull out of the gel.

    Bonus points if it's clear.

    I know this is random. Thanks!


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    There are UV curable adhesives. I would guess that if you directed a UV laser or laser of the appropriate wavelength, through the adhesive material, it would only cure where the light was shining. My dentist has used something like this on tooth fillings, where he shines a light, (but not a laser) on the material to make it harden.

    UV Adhesives - Properties of UV Curable Adhesives, Sealants, Coatings and Potting and Encapsulation Compounds by Master Bond


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  4. #3  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Would be an interesting experiment to see. If you're using an IR laser, wouldn't you expect the gel to be unstable even when exposed to normal lighting? Are we talking about the gel reacting to the light itself, or possibly to the heat of the laser? I would imagine you would get more testable results with the latter.
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    Forum Freshman IWANTTOKNOWMORE's Avatar
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    Is it posible for metals to harden in special lasers ?
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  6. #5  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Yes. Laser hardening is a common practice.
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    Yes, i can think of some polymers that can act this way. Obviously simply heating and cooling might also cure a gel. But you want the photons to act as a mechanism to share electrons? in that case you can use ionogenic base for your gel. It should even liquify again when you turn the laser off.

    I ran some experiments with a gel that hardened when under a current, it didn't work as well as i'd hoped. But i'll just save myself by saying i'm not a chemist :P..
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    I could see testing different ionogenic groups in a thermosensitive copolymer for states of collapsed gel, but I don't know about being able to pull a collapsed gel "spear" out of the gel itself. It would also still react to the application of heat. Maybe look into some hydrogels. I think they are fairly widely used in the medical field and are clear. That's about the limit of my knowledge in anything related to what you're considering.

    What is the application of this gel, if I may ask?
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    That stuff they put in your teeth to fill holes, then shine a UV laser on it to insta-harden.
    Last edited by pyoko; July 29th, 2012 at 10:28 AM.
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  10. #9  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    I believe what they use for veneers and attaching dental braces is actually a cement, but I don't know how specific the OP's requirements are.
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    your answer is : google 3 dimensional printer
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