Impact Toughness of Hybrid Carbon Fiber-PLA/ABS Laminar Composite Produced through Fused Filament Fabrication

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Sep 10;13(18):3057. doi: 10.3390/polym13183057.


Nowadays, the components of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites (an important material) are directly produced with 3D printing technology, especially Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). However, such components suffer from poor toughness. The main aim of this research is to overcome this drawback by introducing an idea of laying down a high toughness material on the 3D-printed carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composite sheet, thereby making a hybrid composite of laminar structure. To ascertain this idea, in the present study, a carbon-reinforced Polylactic Acid (C-PLA) composite sheet was initially 3D printed through FFF technology, which was then laid upon with the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), named as C-PLA/ABS hybrid laminar composite, in an attempt to increase its impact toughness. The hybrid composite was fabricated by varying different 3D printing parameters and was then subjected to impact testing. The results revealed that toughness increased by employing higher layer thickness and clad ratio, while it decreased by increasing the fill density, but remained unaffected due to any change in the raster angle. The highest impact toughness (23,465.6 kJ/m2) was achieved when fabrication was performed employing layer thickness of 0.5 mm, clad ratio of 1, fill density of 40%. As a result of laying up ABS sheet on C-PLA sheet, the toughness of resulting structure increased greatly (280 to 365%) as compared to the equivalent C-PLA structure, as expected. Two different types of distinct failures were observed during impact testing. In type A, both laminates fractured simultaneously without any delamination as a hammer hit the sample. In type B, the failure initiated with fracturing of C-PLA sheet followed by interfacial delamination at the boundary walls. The SEM analysis of fractured surfaces revealed two types of pores in the C-PLA lamina, while only one type in the ABS lamina. Further, there was no interlayer cracking in the C-PLA lamina contrary to the ABS lamina, thereby indicating greater interlayer adhesion in the C-PLA lamina.

Keywords: 3D printing parameters; Fused Filament Fabrication; hybrid laminar composites; optimization; toughness.