Reliable Optimized Structures with High Performance Continuous Fiber Thermoplastic Composites from Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Danning Zhang, Natalie Rudolph, Peter Woytowitz


Milpitas, California, USA


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is still one of the fastest growing manufacturing areas. While metal AM parts are more and more used for structural applications, few plastic AM parts and processes provide sufficient durability for this purpose. One of the problems is related to the lack of reliable material data for design as well as missing component level tests. Therefore, simulation efforts are progressing at slow speeds and often cannot be validated with experimental data. AREVO has overcome this challenge with its Direct Energy Deposition (DED) process that is capable to process carbon fiber volume contents of 50% and more as well as its modeling and software capabilities. In this paper, the mechanical properties including tension, compression, flexural, interlaminar shear, open hole tension and compression, fracture toughness, impact resistance and compression strength after impact (CAI) of the AREVO materials are reported. It can be seen that the mechanical properties are comparable with traditionally manufactured continuous carbon fiber thermoplastic composites. Using this data, the performance of structural components is simulated through an integrated approach considering the processing condition and tool path. The example of a simple structural element is presented here. Good agreement was achieved from the simulation and experimental testing, highlighting the reliability of the AREVO process and software capabilities.

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