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A novel additive manufacturing process utilizing the laminated object manufacturing (LOM) technology with woven natural fiber-reinforced biopolymer is investigated in this paper. Traditional synthetic composite materials are products from nonrenewable crude oil with limited end-of-life options, and therefore not environmentally friendly. The continuous woven natural fiber is used to significantly strengthen the mechanical properties of biocomposites and PLA biopolymer as the matrix made the material completely biodegradable. This is one of the promising replacements for synthetic composites in applications such as automotive panels, constructive materials, and sports and musical instruments. A LOM 3D printer prototype has been designed and built by the team using a laser beam in cutting the woven natural fiber reinforcement and molten PLA powder to bind layers together. Tensile and flexural properties of the LOM 3D printed biocomposites were measured using ASTM test standards and then compared with corresponding values measured from pure PLA specimens 3D printed through FDM. Improved mechanical properties from LOM 3D-printed biocomposites were identified by the team. SEM imaging was performed to identify the polymer infusing and fiber-matrix binding situations. This research took advantage of both the material and process’s benefits and combine them into one sustainable practice.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Beckwith, S.; Flinn, B.; Dustin, J.
Date Published:
Journal Name:
SAMPE 2023 Proceedings
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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