Title: DEVELOPMENT OF MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY FOR CONTINUOUS CARBON FIBER COMPOSITE STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS USING 3D PRINTER
Abstract: Here we report the development of a 3D printer capable of forming structural components based on continuous carbon fiber composites. This is the first printer that has been reported worldwide that is capable of simultaneously impregnating reinforcing fibers while building up layers of laminate. Existing 3D printers typically employ thermoplastic resins; therefore, they are generally not suited for the manufacture of structural components requiring mechanical strength. Furthermore, traditional carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) molding requires both tooling and the use of an autoclave for curing, leading to high processing costs. Here, a 3D printer was developed that is capable of automatically forming thermoplastic CFRP structural components using continuous carbon fiber in order to address these issues. Initially, we developed a material feed mechanism for continuous carbon fiber that enabled its in-situ impregnation. This was followed by evaluation of continuous carbon fiber 3D-printed parts. Next, we optimized fiber orientation in a controlled manner in order to facilitate introduction of an automated carbon fiber cutting system. Lastly, a fundamental review of the forming of CFRP components using the 3D printer was undertaken in order to realize the creation of innovative, highly functional CFRP components with excellent performance characteristics. Applications in aerospace, automotive, medical, and industrial machinery applications were also investigated.
Authors: Kengo Yasuhira, Takuo Shoji, Tomohiro Umemoto, Yoshihiko Katsuyama,Tsuyoshi Ozaki, Ryosuke Matsuzaki, Masahito Ueda, Akira Todoroki, and Yoshiyasu Hiran
Conference: CAMX 2017 –Orlando