Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 5421

Special Issue Editors

School of Traffic & Transportation Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410075, China
Interests: additive manufacturing; fibre-reinforced polymer composites; composite structure; mechanical property
School of Traffic & Transportation Engineering, Key Laboratory of Traffic Safety on Track, Central South University, Changsha 410075, China
Interests: 3D printing; fibre-reinforced polymer composites; formulation; thermo environment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures, School of Aerospace Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
Interests: lightweight design; composite material; cellular material; failure; impact mechanism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrea Codolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, CIMComp, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Interests: mineral-filled polymers; material modelling; composites technology; artificial intelligence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Additive manufacturing has been adopted in many applications (e.g., aerospace, automotive, railway, consumer, and biomedical) due to its revolution in fabricating complex products with customised features. Additive manufacturing of fibre-reinforced polymer composites has attracted increasing attention because of its excellence in improving and diversifying material properties by introducing reinforcements. This Special Issue focuses on recent advances in additive manufacturing of fibre-reinforced polymer composites. Example topics may include different additive manufacturing processes, formulations of different materials, strengths and drawbacks of additive manufacturing methods, and multi-physical characterisation of fibre-reinforced polymer composites. Original research papers, short reports, and reviews are welcome to be published on this Special Issue. It will be an opportunity to take a look at the latest trends and future technologies in the research field of advanced fibre-reinforced polymer composites.

Dr. Chengxing Yang
Prof. Dr. Kui Wang
Dr. Jianxun Zhang
Dr. Andrea Codolini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • continuous fibre
  • short fibre
  • polymer
  • composite material
  • formulation
  • mechanical properties
  • characterisation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 10693 KiB  
Article
PLA-Based Composite Panels Prepared via Multi-Material Fused Filament Fabrication and Associated Investigation of Process Parameters on Flexural Properties of the Fabricated Composite
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010109 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 545
Abstract
This study prepares composite panels with three Polylactic acid (PLA)-based materials via the multi-material fused filament fabrication method. The influences of four processing parameters on the mechanical properties of 3D-printed samples are investigated employing the Taguchi method. These parameters include the relative volume [...] Read more.
This study prepares composite panels with three Polylactic acid (PLA)-based materials via the multi-material fused filament fabrication method. The influences of four processing parameters on the mechanical properties of 3D-printed samples are investigated employing the Taguchi method. These parameters include the relative volume ratio, material printing order, filling pattern, and filling density. A “larger is better” signal-to-noise analysis is performed to identify the optimal combination of printing parameters that yield maximum bending strength and bending modulus of elasticity. The results reveal that the optimal combination of printing parameters that maximizes the bending strength involves a volume ratio of 1:1:2, a material sequence of PLA/foam-agent-modified eco-friendly PLA (ePLA-LW)/glass fiber-reinforced eco-friendly PLA (ePLA-GF), a Gyroid filling pattern, and a filling density of 80%, and the optimal combination of printing parameters for maximum bending modulus involves a volume ratio of 1:2:1 with a material sequence of PLA/ePLA-LW/ePLA-GF, a Grid filling pattern, and 80% filling density. The Taguchi prediction method is utilized to determine an optimal combination of processing parameters for achieving optimal flexural performances, and predicted outcomes are validated through related experiments. The experimental values of strength and modulus are 43.91 MPa and 1.23 GPa, respectively, both very close to the predicted values of 46.87 MPa and 1.2 GPa for strength and modulus. The Taguchi experiments indicate that the material sequence is the most crucial factor influencing the flexural strength of the composite panels. The experiment result demonstrates that the flexural strength and modulus of the first material sequence are 67.72 MPa and 1.53 GPa, while the flexural strength and modulus of the third material sequence are reduced to 27.09 MPa and 0.72 GPa, respectively, only 42% and 47% of the first material sequence. The above findings provide an important reference for improving the performance of multi-material 3D-printed products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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21 pages, 20803 KiB  
Article
Study on the Properties of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs)/Polypropylene Fiber (PP Fiber) Cement-Based Materials
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010041 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 488
Abstract
In order to improve the mechanical properties and durability of cement-based materials, a certain amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polypropylene fiber (PP fiber) were incorporated into cement-based materials. The mechanical properties of the multi-walled carbon nanotubes/polypropylene fiber cement-based materials were evaluated [...] Read more.
In order to improve the mechanical properties and durability of cement-based materials, a certain amount of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and polypropylene fiber (PP fiber) were incorporated into cement-based materials. The mechanical properties of the multi-walled carbon nanotubes/polypropylene fiber cement-based materials were evaluated using flexural strength tests, compressive strength tests, and splitting tensile tests. The effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and polypropylene fiber on the durability of cement-based materials were studied using drying shrinkage tests and freeze–thaw cycle tests. The effects of the multi-walled carbon nanotubes and polypropylene fibers on the microstructure and pore structure of the cement-based materials were compared and analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and mercury intrusion tests. The results showed that the mechanical properties and durability of cement-based materials can be significantly improved when the content of multi-walled carbon nanotubes is 0.1–0.15%. The compressive strength can be increased by 9.5% and the mass loss rate is reduced by 27.9%. Polypropylene fiber has little effect on the compressive strength of the cement-based materials, but it significantly enhances the toughness of the cement-based materials. When its content is 0.2–0.3%, it has the best effect on improving the mechanical properties and durability of the cement-based materials. The flexural strength is increased by 19.1%, and the dry shrinkage rate and water loss rate are reduced by 14.3% and 16.1%, respectively. The three-dimensional network structure formed by the polypropylene fiber in the composite material plays a role in toughening and cracking resistance, but it has a certain negative impact on the pore structure of the composite material. The incorporation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes can improve the bonding performance of the polypropylene fiber and cement matrix, make up for the internal defects caused by the polypropylene fiber, and reduce the number of harmful holes and multiple harmful holes so that the cement-based composite material not only has a significant increase in toughness but also has a denser internal structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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16 pages, 9944 KiB  
Article
Path Planning and Bending Behaviors of 3D Printed Continuous Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Honeycomb Structures
Polymers 2023, 15(23), 4485; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15234485 - 22 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 591
Abstract
Continuous fiber reinforced polymer composites are widely used in load-bearing components and energy absorbers owing to their high specific strength and high specific modulus. The path planning of continuous fiber is closely related to its structural defects and mechanical properties. In this work, [...] Read more.
Continuous fiber reinforced polymer composites are widely used in load-bearing components and energy absorbers owing to their high specific strength and high specific modulus. The path planning of continuous fiber is closely related to its structural defects and mechanical properties. In this work, continuous fiber reinforced polymer honeycomb structures (CFRPHSs) with different printing paths were designed and fabricated via the fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique. The investigation of fiber dislocation at path corners was utilized to analyze the structural defects of nodes caused by printing paths. The lower stiffness nodes filled with pure polymer due to fiber dislocation result in uneven stiffness distribution. The bending performance and deformation modes of CFRPHSs with different printing paths and corresponding pure polymer honeycomb structures were investigated by three-point bending tests. The results showed that the enhancement effect of continuous fibers on the bending performance of honeycomb structures was significantly affected by the printing paths. The CFRPHSs with a staggered trapezoidal path exhibited the highest specific load capacity (68.33 ± 2.25 N/g) and flexural stiffness (627.70 ± 38.78 N/mm). In addition, the fiber distributions and structural defects caused by the printing paths determine the stiffness distribution of the loading region, thereby affecting the stress distribution and failure modes of CFRPHSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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16 pages, 7112 KiB  
Article
Spatial 3D Printing of Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Composite Multilayer Truss Structures with Controllable Structural Performance
Polymers 2023, 15(21), 4333; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15214333 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 921
Abstract
Continuous fiber-reinforced composite truss structures have broad application prospects in aerospace engineering owing to their high structural bearing efficiency and multifunctional applications. This paper presents the design and fabrication of multilayer truss structures with controlled mechanical properties based on continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite [...] Read more.
Continuous fiber-reinforced composite truss structures have broad application prospects in aerospace engineering owing to their high structural bearing efficiency and multifunctional applications. This paper presents the design and fabrication of multilayer truss structures with controlled mechanical properties based on continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite 3D printing. Continuous fiber composite pyramid trusses fabricated by 3D printing have high specific stiffness and strength, with maximum equivalent compression modulus and strength of 401.91 MPa and 30.26 MPa, respectively. Moreover, the relative density of a truss structure can be as low as 1.45%. Additionally, structural units can be extended in any direction to form a multilayer truss structure. Structural performance can be controlled by designing the parameters of each layer. This study offers a novel approach for designing a multifunctional multilayer truss structure, a structure with low-density needs and unique load-bearing effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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29 pages, 9901 KiB  
Article
Simulation-Based Identification of Operating Point Range for a Novel Laser-Sintering Machine for Additive Manufacturing of Continuous Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Parts
Polymers 2023, 15(19), 3975; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15193975 - 03 Oct 2023
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Additive manufacturing using continuous carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer (CCFRP) presents an opportunity to create high-strength parts suitable for aerospace, engineering, and other industries. Continuous fibres reinforce the load-bearing path, enhancing the mechanical properties of these parts. However, the existing additive manufacturing processes for CCFRP parts [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing using continuous carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer (CCFRP) presents an opportunity to create high-strength parts suitable for aerospace, engineering, and other industries. Continuous fibres reinforce the load-bearing path, enhancing the mechanical properties of these parts. However, the existing additive manufacturing processes for CCFRP parts have numerous disadvantages. Resin- and extrusion-based processes require time-consuming and costly post-processing to remove the support structures, severely restricting the design flexibility. Additionally, the production of small batches demands considerable effort. In contrast, laser sintering has emerged as a promising alternative in industry. It enables the creation of robust parts without needing support structures, offering efficiency and cost-effectiveness in producing single units or small batches. Utilising an innovative laser-sintering machine equipped with automated continuous fibre integration, this study aims to merge the benefits of laser-sintering technology with the advantages of continuous fibres. The paper provides an outline, using a finite element model in COMSOL Multiphysics, for simulating and identifying an optimised operating point range for the automated integration of continuous fibres. The results demonstrate a remarkable reduction in processing time of 233% for the fibre integration and a reduction of 56% for the width and 44% for the depth of the heat-affected zone compared to the initial setup. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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17 pages, 21553 KiB  
Article
Digital Image Correlation Analysis of Strain Fields in Fibre-Reinforced Polymer–Matrix Composite under ±45° Off-Axis Tensile Testing
Polymers 2023, 15(13), 2846; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15132846 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
This study presents an experimental investigation of an in-plane shear of a glass lamina composite using a ±45° off-axis tension test. Typically, the shear stress curve, shear modulus, and in-plane shear strength for composite lamina-type materials are identified. Previous research indicated that a [...] Read more.
This study presents an experimental investigation of an in-plane shear of a glass lamina composite using a ±45° off-axis tension test. Typically, the shear stress curve, shear modulus, and in-plane shear strength for composite lamina-type materials are identified. Previous research indicated that a loading rate affects the strength of this composite. This study extends the existing literature by utilising a non-contact optical digital image correlation (DIC) method to measure strain distribution during the test. Two cross-head displacement rates were examined. The obtained strain maps reveal an uneven distribution resembling fabric texture. As the deformation progresses, the differences in the strain pattern increase. Subsequently, a quantitative analysis of the differences between regions with extreme (minimum and maximum) strain values and regions with average values was conducted. Based on these measurements, shear stress–strain curves, indicating variations in their courses, were constructed. These differences may reach several percent and may influence the analysis of numerical simulations. The DIC results were validated using strain gauge measurements, a commonly utilised method in this test. It was demonstrated that the location of the strain gauge installation impacts the results. During the tests, the occurrence of multiple microcracks in the resin was observed, which can contribute to the nonlinearity observed in the shear stress–shear strain curve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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