Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

3D Printing of Short Carbon Fiber Composites via Frontal PolymerizationMORTEZA ZIAEE



Additive manufacturing (AM) of polymer composites is a growing field in academic and industrial research environment. Majority of research in this field is focused on thermoplastic-based composites, as manufacturing of thermoset composites requires long cure cycles that make the additive manufacturing process quite challenging. Even though thermoplastic composites are easier to print, the ultimate performance of composites is limited by low fiber volume fraction, relatively high porosity, and low mechanical performance of host polymers. Recently, a novel curing strategy based on frontal polymerization (FP) has been developed that enables 3D printing of high-quality thermoset polymers. In this approach, a monomer solution with a gel-like viscosity is in-situ cured following the extrusion from printing nozzle by a self-sustaining reaction front. In the present work, we use dicyclopentadiene as a thermoset resin that can be frontally polymerized to a high-performance solid polymer. We add short carbon fiber reinforcements (L ~74 μm) to resin to fabricate mechanically robust 3D composite structures. Our results show that incorporation of short fibers substantially improves the flexural strength and flexural modulus of 3D-printed composites by ~50 % and ~410 %, respectively, compared to traditionally molded neat samples. Optical microscopy from the crosssection of flexural samples reveals that no voids was formed within deposition lines.


Full Text:



Mallick PK. 2007. “Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Materials, Manufacturing, and Design,” Third

Edition. CRC Press.

Horn TJ, Harrysson OLA. 2012. “Overview of Current Additive Manufacturing Technologies and

Selected Applications,” Sci. Prog. 95(3):255–82.

Tamez MBA, Taha I. 2021. “A Review of Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Markets for

Thermosetting Resins and Their Potential for Carbon Fiber Integration,” Addit. Manuf. 37:101748.

Dodiuk H. 2013. “Handbook of Thermoset Plastics,” William Andrew.

Zhu J, Zhang Q, Yang T, Liu Y, Liu R. 2020. “3D Printing of Multi-Scalable Structures via High

Penetration Near-Infrared Photopolymerization,” Nat. Commun. 11(1):3462.

Liu J, Guo Y, Weng C, Zhang H, Zhang Z. 2020. “High Thermal Conductive Epoxy Based

Composites Fabricated by Multi-Material Direct Ink Writing,” Compos. Part A Appl. Sci. Manuf.


Goli E, Parikh NA, Yourdkhani M, Hibbard NG, Moore JS, Sottos NR, Geubelle PH. 2020. “Frontal

Polymerization of Unidirectional Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Composites,” Compos. Part A Appl. Sci.

Manuf. 130:105689.

Rajak DK, Pagar DD, Menezes PL, Linul E. 2019. “Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites:

Manufacturing, Properties, and Applications,” Polym. J. 11(10):1667.

Pierson HA, Celik E, Abbott A, De Jarnette H, Sierra Gutierrez L, Johnson K, Koerner H, Baur JW.

“Mechanical Properties of Printed Epoxy-Carbon Fiber Composites,” Exp. Mech. 59(6):843–

Tekinalp HL, Kunc V, Velez-Garcia GM, Duty CE, Love LJ, Naskar AK, Blue CA, Ozcan S. 2014.

“Highly Oriented Carbon Fiber–Polymer Composites via Additive Manufacturing,” Compos Sci &

Technol. 105:144–50.

Yang D, Zhang H, Wu J, McCarthy ED. 2021. “Fibre Flow and Void Formation in 3D Printing of

Short-Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites: An Experimental Benchmark Exercise,” Addit.

Manuf. 37:101686.


  • There are currently no refbacks.