Property Enhancement of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites Prepared by Fused-Deposition Modeling

Property Enhancement of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites Prepared by Fused-Deposition Modeling

Pravin R. Kubade (Shivaji University, India), Hrushikesh B. Kulkarni (N.B.N. Sinhgad College of Engineering, India) and Vinayak C. Gavali (Shivaji University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0117-7.ch017
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Additive Manufacturing or three-dimensional printing refers to a process of building lighter, stronger three-dimensional parts, manufactured layer by layer. Additive manufacturing uses a computer and CAD software which passes the program to the printer to build the desired shape. Metals, thermoplastic polymers, and ceramics are the preferred materials used for additive manufacturing. Fused deposition modeling is one additive manufacturing technique involving the use of thermoplastic polymer for creating desired shape. Carbon fibers can be added into polymer to strengthen the composite without adding additional weight. Present work deals with the manufacturing of Carbon fiber-reinforced Polylactic Acid composites prepared using fused deposition modeling. Mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties of composites are studied as per ASTM standards and using sophisticated instruments. It is observed that there is enhancement in thermo-mechanical properties of composites due to addition reinforcement which is discussed in detail.
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The manufacturing industries are facing stiff competitions to sustain in the market place due to reduction in product life cycle in post era of globalization. To meet the challenging demands in the global market, the industries depend in technological advancements in the manufacturing field so that manufacturing and design lead time can be reduced. These days market demands durable product with complex profiles at reasonable manufacturing time and cost. As the complexity of the part increases, it demands more advanced manufacturing processes in order to reduce time and manufacturing cost. In the recent few years new manufacturing technologies have been developed to address these issues.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is one such process that can produce precise durable end use parts in less time with minimum cost. The manufacturing processes are categorized into two types depending upon the machining processes i.e. subtractive and additive. The subtractive manufacturing (SM) processes include, milling, grinding, cutting and turning in which material is removed from the work piece to get the final shape. In case of SM, the work piece has to pass through various machining processes which increase the wastage of material and manufacturing time. On the other hand, AM process develops product by adding material layer by layer from bottom to top in a sequential manner. Since the material is added as defined by the machining software, product development and material wastage time can be subsequently reduced as compared to SM process.

The additive manufacturing process alternatively known as Rapid Prototyping is widely appreciated for its tremendous ability in producing complex 3D geometry parts directly from computer aided design (CAD) generated models without requirements of fixture, tools and dies. The RP process can easily manufacture physical models from conceptual designs processes through computer aided design (CAD) data saved in the STL format. The rapid prototyping (RP) enables easy and quick transition from concept generation in the form of computer images to the fabrication of 3D physical models. Although the RP process can produce durable parts in less time, the availability of material type limits its widespread industrial application and daily life applications. However, the ongoing advances in the fields of manufacturing technologies and material have boosted the widespread application of RP process to produce end use parts rather than a prototype model (Yan et al., 2009).

In order to increase the industrial application of RP process, some technological advancements are needed. In this direction, overcoming the limitation of materials functionality of rapid prototyping build parts, the durability and strength of the build parts must be enhanced to face the demands of the customer. The strength of RP build parts under both dynamic loading and static loading condition must be assessed to enhance functionality. The wear behavior of the RP build parts needs to be examined to assess its durability.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a three-dimensional printing technique pioneered in the 1990s by Stratasys. During FDM, printer starts the extrusion of raw material in the form of thin filament through heated nozzle and deposited on the base platform, where further solidifies. Layer by layer deposition continues and object is built in 3D form. Figure 1 shows the schematic of FDM Process.

Figure 1.

Schematic of FDM Process (Ning, Cong, Qiu, Wei, & Wang, 2015)


Advantages of FDM 3D Printers Include

  • Broad range of FDM printers are available in the market today

  • The raw material is durable, cheap and maintains dimensional integrity

  • There is a wide choice of raw material

  • Quick and cheap generation of models

  • No worry of exposure to toxic chemicals

  • FDM Printers are Affordable

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