Additive Manufacturing of Carbon Fiber and Graphene – Polymer Composites using the technique of Fused Deposition Modelling

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Girdis, Jordan
McCaffrey, Matthew
Proust, Gwénaëlle

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University of Texas at Austin


Adding micro or nano-carbon reinforcements to polymers enhances their mechanical and electrical properties. In this paper, the effects of the addition of short carbon fibres (SCF) and graphene into acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) polymer to create composite filaments for fused deposition modelling (FDM) are investigated. After creating carbon polymer composite filaments, using a commercial 3D printer, samples were printed and tested for mechanical and electrical properties. The measured values for these composites were compared to those obtained for pure ABS and pure PLA. It was found that by using only 2% SCF it was possible to achieve a 22% increase in tensile strength with no significant impact on printability. With addition of graphene, PLA was made to be conductive. These results show the feasibility of developing new materials for 3D printing that will create structurally sound and conductive designs.


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