Development and mechanical characterization of 3D-printed, short carbon fibre-reinforced PLA composite materials

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Date

2023-03

Authors

Κακαρελίδης, Οδυσσεύς

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Abstract

Additive manufacturing technologies, also known as 3D printing, have successfully provided promising and cost-effective techniques for the fabrication of polymeric matrix composite materials. Fused deposition modeling (FDM), one of the most widely used methods to fabricate polymeric materials, has received great attention due to its low cost, minimal material waste, and the toolless realization of complex part geometries. However, due to the intrinsically limited mechanical performance of FDM-produced parts, it is crucial to develop parts with improved properties. One of the potential approaches to achieve that is by incorporating a reinforcing phase into the polymeric materials, such as carbon fibres, to essentially form carbon fibre-reinforced polymers, which are already feasting on a plethora of applications including aerospace, automotive, and aviation. The objective of this work is to delve deeper into the intricacies between the process parameters employed to fabricate 3D printed, carbon fibre-reinforced polymers and their mechanical response. The materials studied in this thesis are poly(lactic acid) and grades of both virgin and recycled, short carbon fibres, under 1 mm. The main fabrication techniques employed are filament extrusion and FDM-based 3D printing. In this study, the carbon fibres as well as their relationship with the final composite materials’ performance are studied with a range of characterization techniques including Raman spectroscopy, optical and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron microscopy, and flexural tests.

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Composite materials, Carbon fibres, Carbon fibre reinforced polymers, Fused deposition modeling, Additive manufacturing, 3D printing

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