Effects ofProcessing Conditions on Prototypes Reinforced with TLCPs for Fused Deposition Modeling
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Polypropylene (PP) composite strands, reinforced with thermotropic liquid crystalline polymers (TLCPs), were generated using a novel dual extrusion process which allowed for the use of a TLCP with a significantly higher melting temperature than that of the PP. Pregenerated TLCPtpp microcomposite strands were reprocessed using a second novel process to produce a wen-controned monofilament composite for use in a FDM 1600 rapid prototyping system in order to build complex geometries. Uniaxial parts were built to determine the effect of differing material compositions and processing temperatures, in order to develop an oPerating window for the optimal mechanical properties. By adjusting the lay down pattern of orientable materials, the final mechanical properties of the part could be engineered independent ofthe material. To understand the effect ofthe reprocessing steps on the pregenerated microcomposites, the final mechanical properties ofthe monofilament composite were compared with those ofthe pregenerated strands.