Processing Short Fiber-Reinforced Polymers in the Fused Deposition Modeling Process

Schumacher, Christian
Schöppner, Volker
Gnaase, Stefan
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University of Texas at Austin

By adding fibers to a polymer matrix, a reinforcement of the material can be achieved. Short fiber-reinforced polymers can easily be processed by the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process without major modifications to the processing machine. For instance, short fiber-reinforced filaments can be processed to produce short fiber-reinforced components in the FDM process. In many other additive manufacturing processes this is not possible at this low cost. The choice of the matrix material, fiber type, fiber length and fiber orientation have a major influence on the properties of the produced component. In this paper, short fiber-reinforced filaments are processed by the FDM process. The processing properties and the resulting part properties are investigated with regard to fiber-specific influences. Additionally, the effects of different strand geometries and thus changed flow fields on the fiber orientation and mechanical part properties are investigated.