Discontinuous carbon fiber reinforced thermoset epoxy composites fabricated using a liquid deposition additive manufacturing (AM) technique were studied for mechanical performance. Studies were first performed on the printability of the composite by studying the viscosity as a function of shear rate. The optimized material was selected such that the uncured composite viscosity was appropriate for extrusion at the shear rate experienced at the syringe needle. In addition, the viscosity was selected such that the form of the printed part was maintained after printing and during post curing. The effect of the printing process on the internal microstructure was analyzed by microscopy. Mechanical testing was performed on printed composites with varying raster orientations and compared to composite samples fabricated by a traditional casting method. The adhesion between layers was found to be strong as a result of the curing process occurring after the polymer deposition. This work provides insight into the additive manufacturing of structural composites and show promising results for implementation into structural applications.
- Understand an approach to additively manufacturing discontinuous carbon fiber reinforced composites
- Understand the limitations of thermoplastics in additive manufacturing and why thermosets are a good alternative
- Describe the benefits, in terms of performance, of using fiber-reinforced thermosets for additive manufacturing