Effects of Aging and Infill Pattern on Mechanical Properties of Hemp Reinforced PLA Composite Produced by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Additions of reinforcing natural fibers to polymer matrices provides an increase in mechanical properties. In addition, bio composite materials contribute to the sustainable ecosystem with their ease of recyclability. The effect of accelerated aging on the mechanical properties of PLA matrix biocomposite specimens has been observed in previous research. However, the effect of accelerated aging on the mechanical properties and the resulting mass loss of the material produced with fused filament fabrication (FFF) has been discussed for the first time in this study. Aging was applied to the biocomposite consisted of 10% hemp and PLA matrix produced at a constant rate, parallel to the tensile direction and cross (+/– 45°) angle, and the tensile stress and mass loss were examined. The aging effect has been observed even from the first week. Specimens with parallel printing to tensile direction showed a lower tensile performance than cross printing one. Since the structure in the laminates is quite durable, the adhesion performance in the laminate or through thickness direction has been low. Natural fibers are found so highly hygroscopic that chemical treatments will improve the interface and improve the mechanical properties.
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