ENHANCEMENT OF BINDING MATRIX STIFFNESS IN COMPOSITE FILAMENT CO-EXTRUSION ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
The Flexural modulus and strength are an intrinsic aspect of parts produced via dual matrix composite filament co-extrusion (CFC) based additive manufacturing. In this research work, the main objective is to optimize thermoplastic's (TP) flexural properties by reinforcing it with particulate fillers for CFC printed parts. Accordingly, an effort has been made in this respect and neat Polyamide-6 (PA6) and its composite (PA6.CF) was chosen as a binding matrix for CFC flexural specimens. The PA6
... pecimens. The PA6 binding matrix is reinforced with particulate carbon fibers (PCF). To improve the compatibility between the PCF and matrix, stearyl titanate coupling agent (1.5 wt. %) was utilized. Constraints such as defects and porosity are of critical attributes and play a vital role in defining the mechanical performance of the 3D printed parts. Herein, the printed specimens were subjected to a non-destructive testing method: micro-computed thermography (μ-CT). PA6 and reinforced PA6 specimen revealed similar porosity and defect volume. Furthermore, the three-point bending test results of 3D printed CFC composite with PA6.CF as a binding matrix showed approx. 46% increase in flexural stiffness and 27% increase in flexural strength when compared to CFC specimens printed with neat PA6 as a binding matrix. In addition, the cryo-fractured fractography of carbon composite filament, an epoxy-based thermo-cured continuous carbon fiber, revealed even distribution of carbon fibers with no visible voids.