Updates

Article in Additive Manufacturing on high-performance plastics

Our article “Understanding mechanical properties in fused filament fabraction of polyether-ether-ketone” has now been published in Additive Manufacturing. This work is in collaboration with the University of Nottingham.

Understanding mechanical properties in fused filament fabrication of poly-ether-ether-ketone

Jing Pu, Claire McIlroy, Arthur Jones, Ian Ashcroft

Abstract Using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), we investigate differences in the mechanical properties of a single-filament wall of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) constructed using fused filament fabrication (FFF) under a range of different printing conditions. Since PEEK is a semi-crystalline polymer, we employ a non-isothermal quiescent crystallization model, informed by infra-red (IR)-imaging measurements, to understand our findings. We propose that, under typical FFF cooling conditions, the weld region between filaments remains amorphous. In contrast, the core of the filament has increased time above the glass transition temperature allowing for a significant crystal fraction to develop. We correlate the predicted crystal fraction to a storage modulus using the Halpin and Kardos model. With only a single model fitting parameter we can make reasonable predictions for the perpendicular and parallel storage moduli measured via DMA over a range of printing conditions. This work provides a foundation for optimising crystallization for the mechanical performance of the FFF printed PEEK.

A schematic of dynamical mechanical analysis of a 3D-printed speciman
A schematic of Dynamical Mechanical Analysis conducted on a single-filament speciman 3D-printed using the fused filament fabrication technique. The layer-by-layer nature of 3D printing creates anisotropy in the mechanical properties.

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