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Title: The Importance of Carbon Fiber to Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing holds tremendous promise in terms of revolutionizing manufacturing. However, fundamental hurdles limit mass adoption of the technology. First, production rates are extremely low. Second, the physical size of parts is generally small, less than a cubic foot. Third, while there is much excitement about metal additive manufacturing, the major growth area is in polymer additive manufacturing systems. Unfortunately, the mechanical properties of the polymer parts are poor, limiting the potential for direct part replacement. To address this issue, we describe three benefits of blending carbon fiber with polymer additive manufacturing. First, development of carbon fiber reinforced polymers for additive manufacturing achieves specific strengths approaching aerospace quality aluminum. Second, carbon fiber radically changes the behavior of the material during deposition, enabling large scale, out-of-the-oven, high deposition rate manufacturing. Finally, carbon fiber technology and additive manufacturing complement each other. Merging the two manufacturing processes enables the construction of complex components that would not be possible otherwise.
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Materials Research; Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 17
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF)
Sponsoring Org:
EE USDOE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States
carbon fiber; composite; additive manufacturing