Journal Published Online: 11 January 2023
Volume 12, Issue 1

Enhancing Tensile Response of Polymeric Elements Using Bioinspired 3D Printing: Studying the Effects of Printing Patterns and Process Parameters



In construction, additive manufacturing (AM) can be used to create structural or non-structural elements, such as frameworks, reinforcement, or panels. However, AM technology still requires enhancements for the mechanical response of final 3D printed elements to accommodate the mechanical needs of structural components. This paper evaluates various AM process parameters and bioinspired printing patterns to improve the mechanical performance of 3D printed polymeric elements. AM processes, including printing speed and nozzle diameter, are studied. Bioinspired patterns, including Bouligand-like, alternating, sinusoidal, grid, triangular, and hexagonal, are investigated and compared to simple parallel patterns. Results of this study suggest that the mechanical behavior of 3D printed elements can be significantly enhanced by optimizing the printing speed and nozzle diameter. Incorporating bioinspired architectures in AM, such as the Bouligand pattern, are shown to enhance mechanical performance. Slower speeds and larger nozzle diameters result in higher tensile strength. Continuous and twisting patterns yield more ductility, while patterns parallel to the direction of the tensile test result in higher strengths. Microscopic images from the fracture surface indicate that a larger nozzle diameter enhances intra- and interlayer bonding between consequent printed layers. Additionally, more complex crack propagation is observed in twisting patterns with enhanced elongation before total failure. It is also observed that there is an optimal time of exposure to high temperature for deposited materials during AM to improve bonding between adjacent beads. Bioinspired patterns help maintain higher ductility with similar strength despite encompassing higher porosity than parallel patterns, which could be advantageous for material optimization purposes. The bioinspired 3D printed polymeric elements showed tensile properties higher than those of plain polymer filament. The outcome of this study can help optimize both the process and the architecture of 3D printed elements to enhance their mechanical properties to be used as reinforcing elements for reinforced concrete applications.

Author Information

Namakiaraghi, Parsa
Civil Engineering Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
McNally, Liam
Civil Engineering Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Spragg, Robert
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA, USA
Farnam, Yaghoob Amir
Civil Engineering Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Pages: 23
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: ACEM20220066
ISSN: 2379-1357
DOI: 10.1520/ACEM20220066