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Investigation of the effects of volume fraction, aspect ratio and type of fibres on the mechanical properties of short fibre reinforced 3D printed composite materials

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hassan Gonabadi, Yao Chen, Professor Steve BullORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2024.Mechanical behaviour of 3D-printed composite parts is affected by the volume fraction, aspect ratio and type of fibre reinforcement. Although in the literature experimental approaches have been used to characterise the effects of the above factors on the mechanical properties of 3D printed parts, time and cost of the manufacturing process as well as the uncertainty associated with a large number of experimental techniques are the key issues. This study aims to address these challenges by developing a methodology based on a multi-scale Finite Element (FE) analysis of representative volume element (RVE) of 3D printed composite parts to predict the effective orthotropic properties. To account for the effects of fibre features, RVEs were modelled considering variables of volume fraction, aspect ratios and type of short fibres. To study the main and interaction effects of the above variables on the mechanical properties of 3D printed composite parts, a structured approach based on the Design of Experiments is used. The FE stress analysis of the RVE provides an understanding about the potential failure modes such as interfacial debonding between fibres and matrix, interlayer and intralayer delamination that may occur in load-bearing 3D printed composite parts. The FE computed mechanical properties are validated against experimental data through a series of mechanical testing of flexure, Iosipescu, and short beam shear which were conducted in conjunction with the Digital Image Correlation technique. As a result, certainty is obtained in using the proposed approach for a fast iterative design of 3D printed composite parts prior to industrial applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gonabadi H, Chen Y, Bull S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Progress in Additive Manufacturing

Year: 2024

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 29/04/2024

Acceptance date: 07/04/2024

Date deposited: 13/05/2024

ISSN (print): 2363-9512

ISSN (electronic): 2363-9520

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH


DOI: 10.1007/s40964-024-00620-1


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