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Controlling substrate temperature with infrared heating to improve mechanical properties of large-scale printed parts...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Additive Manufacturing
Publication Date
Page Numbers
101068 to 101088

Additively manufactured parts made with polymer extrusion techniques can be 50-75% weaker in the z-direction (across layers) than in the x- and y-directions. This has been attributed to poor mobility of polymer chains and a low degree of entanglement across a cold deposition interface. This is particularly a challenge when printing large-scale parts, such as with the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system, because layer times can exceed several minutes. The current work presents a method for controlling the temperature of the substrate material on the BAAM just prior to deposition using infrared heating lamps. Long layer times were also simulated by actively cooling the material following deposition of each layer. The effect of substrate temperature on the z-direction mechanical properties of 20% carbon fiber reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) was measured for an initial temperature ranging from 50 °C to 150 °C and a preheated temperature ranging from 150 °C to 220 °C. Infrared preheating proved to be very effective when applied to substrates that had cooled considerably, almost doubling the tensile strength and increasing the fracture toughness by a factor of 7x.