Mechanical reliability of fused deposition modeled polymers and composites

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Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the most common additive manufacturing technique for the production of cost effective polymers and composites. In fact, half million FDM systems were sold between 2013 and 2015. FDM is used in industries such as biomedical, aerospace, automotive, defense, agriculture, and consumer product. In addition, the number of open-source free designs, which can be downloaded and 3D printed, are increasing exponentially. However, the FDMed materials contain inherent pores between the deposited beads and inside the beads. In addition, pores can be intentionally included in an FDMed design to add functionality such as heat or mass transport. These pores reduce mechanical properties and introduce variations in mechanical properties, i.e., lower mechanical reliability. We recently reported that the mechanical reliability of FDMed polymers can be as low as technical ceramics. High reliability is a must for FDMed materials to compete and/or replace conventional mass production. In this talk, I will discuss the origins of the mechanical reliability in FDMed polymers and composites. Biomimetic meso-structure and vibration-assisted FDM approaches will be described to improve reliability in FDMed materials. Our recent work showed that intentional vibrations or biomimetically engineered deposition path can be used to double Weibull modulus–a key parameter in Weibull statistics describing the scatter in fracture strength.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 4, Informatics, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2018
Published: May 13, 2018
Pages: 126 - 129
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: 3D Printing
ISBN: 978-0-9988782-1-8