Pulkin Gupta, Sudha Kumari, Abhishek Gupta, Ankit Kumar Sinha, Prashant Jindal
February 10, 2021
Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is a layer-by-layer manufacturing process type of 3D-printing (3DP). Significant variation in the mechanical properties of 3D printed specimens is observed because of varied process parameters and interfacial bonding between consecutive layers. This study investigates the influence of heat treatment on the mechanical strength of FDM 3D printed Polylactic acid (PLA) parts with constant 3DP parameters and ambient conditions. To meet the objectives, 7 sets, each containing 5 dog-bone shaped samples, were fabricated from commercially available PLA filament. Each set was subjected to heat treatment at a particular temperature for 1 h and cooled in the furnace itself, while one set was left un-treated. The temperature for heat treatment (T h ) varied from 30 °C to 130 °C with increments of 10 °C. The heat-treated samples were characterized under tensile loading of 400 N and mechanical properties like Young’s modulus (E), Strain % ( ε ) and Stiffness (k) were evaluated. On comparing the mechanical properties of heat-treated samples to un-treated samples, significant improvements were observed. Heat treatment also altered the geometries of the samples. Mechanical properties improved by 4.88 % to 10.26 % with the maximum being at T h of 110 °C and below recrystallization temperature (T r ) of 65 °C. Deformations also decreased significantly at higher temperatures above 100 °C, by a maximum of 36.06 %. The dimensions of samples showed a maximum decrease of 1.08 % in T r range and a maximum decrease of 0.31 % in weight at the same temperature. This study aims to benefit the society by establishing suitable Th to recover the lost strength in PLA based FDM 3D printed parts.