3D Printing PLA

Mechanical and Geometric Performance of PLA Composites

In this work, the effect of short carbon fibre (CF) on the mechanical and geometric properties of 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) composite parts processed using the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technique have been analysed.

Tensile, flexural and interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) tests were performed to obtain the mechanical performance of the different samples.

The surface quality and geometric accuracy of the printed specimens were also evaluated.

Finally, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of the printed samples are analysed.

The results revealed that the addition of carbon fibres effectively improved all assessed mechanical properties of PLA-CF composites as compared to the neat PLA.

In particular, Flat PLA-CF samples showed an average increase in tensile performance of 47.1% for the tensile strength and 179.9% for the tensile stiffness in comparison to the neat PLA.

From the flexural behaviour point of view, Flat PLA-CF samples revealed an increase in average flexural strength and stiffness of 89.75% and 230.95%, respectively in comparison to the neat PLA.

Furthermore, PLA-CF samples depicted the best ILSS performance.

In general, the use of short carbon fibre as reinforcement did not affect the dimensional accuracy of the PLA-CF samples, and even improved the surface roughness in certain cases, particularly in Flat and On-edge orientations.

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mechanical and geometric performance pla

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