Fabrication of the continuous carbon fiber reinforced plastic composites by additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing has been adopted in a wide range of industry. However, limited mechanical properties have prevented additive manufacturing from further development in high value applications. Carbon-fibre-reinforced composites are widely used in automobile and aerospace industries due to their improved mechanical properties and reduced weight. The introduction of carbon fibre into additive manufacturing will allow its application across a broader industrial field. In this paper, carbon-fibre-reinforced composite samples were produced by material extrusion and stereolithography. Tensile tests were performed on pure polymer and carbon-fibre-reinforced samples. Experimental results were compared to theoretical ones based on a rule of mixture. Samples produced by material extrusion showed a 73.3 % reduction in elastic modulus compared with theoretical values whereas those produced by stereolithography showed a 42.06% reduction. Micrographs showed that stereolithography samples had better bonding between the matrix and the fibre.