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Large-scale continuous carbon/glass fiber additive-compression molded composites...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
CAMX 2021
Publication Date
Page Number
Conference Name
CAMX: The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo
Conference Location
Dallas, Texas, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Composite one, Interplastic, Zushi
Conference Date

Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3-D printing has advanced from small-scale desktop printers to large-scale printers. Most of the present large-scale printers utilize feedstock materials in the form of pellets to create composite structures. To create structurally robust composite parts, reinforcements in the form of short fibers (carbon or glass) are often used to impart mechanical properties to the printed parts. However, poor mechanical properties in Z-direction and high porosity of pellets-based printed composites compared to composite manufactured using traditional methods are serious concerns. The authors report a combined approach in the present work, where fiber reinforced composites are printed with a high-throughput continuous fiber deposition method followed by a secondary compression molding process. A specially designed end-effector mounted on a robotic arm is used to print composite preforms. Continuous comingled fibers (Thermofiber 12K CF-PA12, Thermofiber 12K S2-PA12, and Hybrid Thermofiber 12K CF-PA12+PEEK PA6) embedded in the thermoplastic nylon matrix are printed to create composite preform plaques. The printed preforms were further compression molded (CM) using a hydraulic hot-press to create highly consolidated composite parts. The mechanical properties of the continuous fiber composites produced by this combined approach are improved significantly due to the highly aligned continuous fibers and reduced porosity. Flexural strength, flexural modulus, and tensile modulus of AM-CM Thermofiber 12K CF-PA12 UD sample were 615.37 MPa, 75.65 GPa, and 122.23 GPa, respectively.