Frontal polymerization-assisted 3D printing of short carbon fibers/dicyclopentadiene composites

Zimeng Zhang, Ruochen Liu, Wei Li, Yuchen Liu, Zhijian Pei, Jingjing Qiu, Shiren Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Discontinuous carbon fibers (d-CFs) with different surface modifications (sizing, carboxyl-grafting, and norbornene-grafting) were separately dispersed in dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) resins, and the resultant d-CF/DCPD mixtures demonstrated shear-thinning characteristics. Subsequently, d-CF/DCPD mixtures were printed and further transformed into crosslinked polymers through self-propagating frontal polymerization. The norbornene groups grafted on the d-CF surfaces also reacted with the DCPD monomers during the fontal polymerization-synchronized printing, resulting in covalent connections between d-CFs and DCPD resins. The tensile strength of as-printed norbornene-grafting d-CFs/DCPD composites was around 43.3 MPa, which was 170% higher than that of as-printed neat DCPD resin and 15% higher than that of the sized d-CFs/DCPD composites. The toughness of as-printed norbornene-grafting d-CFs/DCPD composites was ~14 MPa, ~33.3% higher than that of the sized d-CF/DCPD composites. More importantly, the presence of norbornene-grafted d-CFs significantly strengthened the bonding strength of printed layers since d-CFs bridged two neighbored layers. The bonding strength of printed layers was enhanced by ~255% with addition of 3 wt% norbornene-grafting d-CFs compared to the neat resin. This method provides a new way to improve the interlayer bonding in energy-efficient 3D printing thermosetting composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-762
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Processes
Volume71
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Frontal polymerization
  • Interlayer bonding
  • Thermosetting composites

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