Direct rheological characterization of polymer and polymer composite filament used in fused filament fabrication additive manufacturing.


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Understanding the behavior of polymer melt flows is important for predicting final part quality and improve processing performance, particularly in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) Additive Manufacturing (AM). There are limited resources available to the consumer for characterizing both new and existing print materials used in FFF printers. This research seeks to address this issue by constructing a low-cost ‘filament rheometer’ device capable of measuring important melt flow properties of polymers and polymer composites directly from FFF filament. In this approach, the power law index and consistency index of the Power Law generalized Newtonian fluid model are calculated from measured pressure drop and volumetric flow rate data. A Filament Flow Index (FFI) is also proposed to quickly assess extrusion characteristics for FFF filament. The applicability of the filament rheometer is demonstrated with six commercially available FFF filaments where power law model parameters compare favorably with those obtained with a commercial rotary rheometer



Fused filament fabrication. Pressure drop. Rheological properties.