3D Printed Hollow Off-Axis Profiles Based on Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymers: Mechanical Testing and Finite Element Method Analysis

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Aug 31;13(17):2949. doi: 10.3390/polym13172949.


The aim of the paper is to design, manufacture, and test an off-axis composite profile of circular cross-section. Composite profile based on continuous carbon fibers reinforcing the onyx matrix, i.e., a matrix that consists of nylon and micro carbon fibers, was produced by fused deposition modeling (FDM) method. A buckling test of the six printed composite specimens was performed on a tensile test machine. The values of the experiment were compared with the values of the computational simulation using the Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis. The mean value of the experimentally determined critical force at which the composite profile failed was 3102 N, while the value of the critical force by FEM analysis was calculated to be 2879 N. Thus, reliability of the simulation to determine the critical force differed from the experimental procedure by only 7%. FEM analysis revealed that the primary failure of 3D printed composite parts was not due to loss of stability, but due to material failure. With great accuracy, the results of the comparison show that it is possible to predict the mechanical properties of 3D printed composite laminates on the basis of a theoretical model.

Keywords: 3D printing; FEM analysis; SEM analysis; carbon fibers; composite polymer materials; fused deposition modeling; hollow profile.