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An experimental and numerical investigation on mechanical properties of 3D printed continuous glass tow preg-reinforced composites

Nastaran Mosleh (Composites Department, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, Tehran, Iran)
Soheil Dariushi (Composites Department, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, Tehran, Iran)
Masoud Esfandeh (Composites Department, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, Tehran, Iran)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 3 February 2022

Issue publication date: 29 June 2022

208

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, continuous glass tow preg-reinforced acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) composites were fabricated by using a 3D printing method, and the purpose of this study is the investigation of the fiber preimpregnation effect on the mechanical behavior of these composites. In addition, a simple theoretical approach (mixture law), which considers the elastic behavior of reinforced composites and a numerical simulation method based on finite element method (FEM), was used to predict the tensile stress–strain behavior of ABS/glass tow preg composites in the elastic region.

Design/methodology/approach

Different groups of preimpregnated glass tows with various ABS amounts (named 2%, 10%, 20% and 30%) were prepared by the solution impregnation method. Then, preimpregnated glass tows (prepregs or tow-pregs) were fed into the printer head along with the polymeric ABS filament to print the composites. The tensile, flexural and short beam tests were conducted to evaluate the mechanical properties of the printed composites.

Findings

The first result of using tow-pregs instead of dry tows in continuous fiber 3D printing is much easier printing, printability improvement and the possibility of printing layers with low thickness, which can further increase the mechanical properties. The mechanical test results showed all of the glass prepregs improve strength and modulus in the tensile, three-point bending and short beam tests compared with neat ABS specimens, but statistical analysis showed that ABS weight percentage in the prepregs had no significant effect on the mechanical strength of composites except for the tensile modulus. Samples containing 2%-prepreg (minimum ABS amount in the tow-pregs) showed a significant improvement in tensile modulus. In the simulation section, good agreement is obtained between the model predictions and experimental tensile results. The results show that an acceptable deviation (14%) exists between the experimental and predicted value of elastic modulus by the numerical model.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study showing the effects of ABS weight percentage in prepregs on the mechanical properties of 3D printed continuous fiber-reinforced composites and predicting the mechanical behavior of 3D printed composites by numerical simulation method.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to appreciate from Iran national science foundation (INSF) for its financial support (Fund number: 99019781).

Citation

Mosleh, N., Dariushi, S. and Esfandeh, M. (2022), "An experimental and numerical investigation on mechanical properties of 3D printed continuous glass tow preg-reinforced composites", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 1284-1296. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-08-2021-0200

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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