Impact of processing parameters on tensile strength, in-process crystallinity and mesostructure in FDM-fabricated PLA specimens

Ognjan Luzanin (Department for Production Engineering, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia)
Dejan Movrin (Department for Production Engineering, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia)
Vassilis Stathopoulos (Technological Educational Institute of Sterea Ellada, School of Technological Applications, Evia, Greece)
Pavlos Pandis (Technological Educational Institute of Sterea Ellada, School of Technological Applications, Evia, Greece)
Tanja Radusin (Institute for Food Technology, Novi Sad, Serbia)
Vera Guduric (Centre for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research, Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 24 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of layer thickness, extrusion temperature, extrusion speed and build plate temperature on the tensile strength, crystallinity achieved during fabrication (herein, in-process crystallinity) and mesostructure of Poly(lactic acid) specimens. Both tensile strength and in-process crystallinity were optimized and verified as the function of processing parameters, and their relationship was thoroughly examined.

Design/methodology/approach

The four key technological parameters were systematically varied as factors on three levels, using the statistically designed experiment. Surface response methodology was used to optimize tensile strength and crystallinity for the given ranges of input factors. Optimized factor settings were used in a set of confirmation runs, where the result of optimization was experimentally confirmed. Material characterization was performed using differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction analysis, while the effect of processing parameters on mesostructure was examined by scanning electron microscopy.

Findings

Layer thickness and its quadratic effect are dominant contributors to tensile strength. Significant interaction between layer thickness and extrusion speed implies that these parameters should always be varied simultaneously within designed experiment to obtain adequate process model. As regards, the in-process crystallinity, extrusion speed is part of two significant interactions with plate temperature and layer thickness, respectively. Quality of mesostructure is vital contributor to tensile strength during FDM process, while the in-process crystallinity exhibited no impact, remaining below the 20 per cent margin regardless of process parameter settings.

Originality/value

According to available literature, there have been no previously published investigations which studied the effect of process parameters on tensile strength, mesostructure and in-process crystallinity through systematic variation of four critical processing parameters.

Keywords

Citation

Luzanin, O., Movrin, D., Stathopoulos, V., Pandis, P., Radusin, T. and Guduric, V. (2019), "Impact of processing parameters on tensile strength, in-process crystallinity and mesostructure in FDM-fabricated PLA specimens", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-12-2018-0316

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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