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Conductive Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) Temperature Sensors Embedded in Additively Manufactured Parts

JACOB WAHRY, BRITTANY J. RUMLEY-OUELLETTE, MICHAEL TODD, ALEXANDRIA MARCHI

Abstract


This paper explores the temperature sensitivity of PLA filament doped with carbon black (cPLA) embedded into an additively manufacturing PLA part. The electrically conductive cPLA senses temperature changes within the PLA part without loss of strength in the part or added complications of installing a commercial sensor while printing. Measuring the resistance changes in these conductive segments will provide information about the state of the part based on resistive response to temperature loading. In this case, we plan to determine the relationship between the temperature of the sensor and its resistance. Results suggest that printing parameters and geometry of the conductive sensor will change the magnitude of the relationship; however, a consistent correlation between the two values was demonstrated. With continued research and enhanced print consistency, a proven relationship governing the temperature and resistance of a cPLA gauge could allow valuable insight into temperature behavior and distribution inside of an additively manufactured part.

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