A promising pathway for multifunctionality in fiber-composites is to mimic biological vasculature that enables living organisms with concerted homeostatic functions. In this paper, newfound material and processing advancements in vaporization of sacrificial components (VaSC), a technique for creating inverse replica architectures via thermal depolymerization of a sacrificial template, are established for enhanced vascular composites manufacturing. Sacrificial poly(lactic acid) with improved distribution of catalytic micro-particles is extruded into fibers for automated weaving and filament feedstock for 3-D printing. Fiber drawing after extrusion improves mechanical robustness for high-fidelity, composite preform weaving. Joining one-dimensional (1D) interwoven fibers with printed sacrificial (2D) templates affords three-dimensional (3D) interconnected networks in a fiber-composite laminate that inherits damage-tolerant features found in natural vasculatures. In addition to providing a conduit for enhanced functionality, the sacrificial templating techniques are compatible with current composites manufacturing processes, materials, and equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • A. Multifunctional composites
  • B. Microstructures
  • E. 3-D printing
  • Weaving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Robust sacrificial polymer templates for 3D interconnected microvasculature in fiber-reinforced composites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this