A. Kallel, I. Koutiri, E. Babaeitorkamani, A. Khavandi, M. Tamizifar, M. Shirinbayan, A. Tcharkhtchi
August 1, 2019
Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is an additive manufacturing (AM) process that provides physical objects commonly used for modeling, prototyping and production applications. The major drawback of this process is poor mechanical property due to the porous structure of final parts. This process requires careful management of coalescence phenomenon. In this paper, the major influencing factors during the FFF processing of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) were investigated experimentally and with a numerical model. It has been shown that the polymer temperature has a significant effect on the rheological behavior of PLA, especially on the adhesion of the filaments. An experimental set-up has been placed in the machine to have the cyclic temperature of the filament. A variation of the polymer temperature influences process parameters such as feed rate, temperature of the nozzle and temperature of the platform. The results showed that the amount of polymeric coalescence (neck growth) rises when increasing the feed rate, the nozzle temperature, and the platform temperature. A model to predict the neck growth is proposed. It predicts a lower amount of neck growth value than obtained experimentally. This difference has been explained as the effect of other phenomena, such as polymer relaxation time, pressure of the nozzle and especially cyclic temperature which is not taken into account in the model.