DOI: 10.3390/jcs7090367 ISSN:

3D Printing of Low-Filled Basalt PA12 and PP Filaments for Automotive Components

Federico Lupone, Jacopo Tirillò, Fabrizio Sarasini, Claudio Badini, Claudia Sergi
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Ceramics and Composites

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) enables many advantages compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, but the lower mechanical performance due to the higher porosity still hinders its industrial spread in key sectors like the automotive industry. PP and PA12 filaments filled with low amounts of basalt fibers were produced in the present work to improve the poor mechanical properties inherited from the additive manufacturing technique. For both matrices, the introduction of 5 wt.% of basalt fibers allows us to achieve stiffness values comparable to injection molding ones without modifying the final weight of the manufactured components. The increased filament density compared with the neat polymers, upon the introduction of basalt fibers, is counterbalanced by the intrinsic porosity of the manufacturing technique. In particular, the final components are characterized by a 0.88 g/cm3 density for PP and 1.01 g/cm3 for PA12 basalt-filled composites, which are comparable to the 0.91 g/cm3 and 1.01 g/cm3, respectively, of the related neat matrix used in injection molding. Some efforts are still needed to fill the gap of 15–28% for PP and of 26.5% for PA12 in tensile strength compared to injection-molded counterparts, but the improvement of the fiber/matrix interface by fiber surface modification or coupling agent employment could be a feasible solution.

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