Evaluation of the infill design on the tensile response of 3d printed polylactic acid polymer

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Harpool, Tanner D.
Alarifi, Ibrahim M.
Alshammari, Basheer A.
Aabid, Abdul
Baig, Muneer
Malik, Rizwan A.
Sayed, Ahmed M.
Asmatulu, Ramazan
El-Bagory, Tarek Mohamed A.Ali

Harpool, T. D., Alarifi, I. M., Alshammari, B. A., Aabid, A., Baig, M., Malik, R. A., . . . El-Bagory, T. M. A. A. (2021).Evaluation of the infill design on the tensile response of 3d printed polylactic acid polymer. Materials, 14(9) doi:10.3390/ma14092195


The current study explores the effects of geometrical shapes of the infills on the 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) plastic on the tensile properties. For this purpose, by utilizing an accessible supply desktop printer, specimens of diamond, rectangular, and hexagonal infill patterns were produced using the fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technique. Additionally, solid samples were printed for comparison. The printed tensile test specimens were conducted at environmental temperature, Ta of 23 °C and crosshead speed, of 5 mm/min. Mainly, this study focuses on investigating the percentage infill with respect to the cross-sectional area of the investigated samples. The mechanical properties, i.e., modulus of toughness, ultimate tensile stress, yield stress, and percent elongation, were explored for each sample having a different geometrical infill design. The test outcomes for each pattern were systematically compared. To further validate the experimental results, a computer simulation using finite element analysis was also performed and contrasted with the experimental tensile tests. The experimental results mainly suggested a brittle behavior for solidly infilled specimen, while rectangular, diamond, and hexagonal infill patterns showed ductile-like behavior (fine size and texture of infills). This brittleness may be due to the relatively higher infill density results that led to the high bonding adhesion of the printed layers, and the size and thickness effects of the solid substrate. It made the solidly infilled specimen structure denser and brittle. Among all structures, hexagon geometrical infill showed relative improvement in the mechanical properties (highest ultimate tensile stress and modulus values 1759.4 MPa and 57.74 MPa, respectively) compared with other geometrical infills. Therefore, the geometrical infill effects play an important role in selecting the suitable mechanical property’s values in industrial applications.

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