Extrusion Deposition Additive Manufacturing of Composite Molds for High-Temperature Applications
The use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites in extrusion deposition additive manufacturing (EDAM) has enabled upscaling this technology by reducing the deformation of the parts during printing. The presence of fibers reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and increases the elastic modulus of the printed material. Additive manufacturing molds is an application that benefits from both the ability to produce complex three-dimensional shapes with EDAM and the low CTE obtained with composites. In order to introduce the application of printed molds, this paper begins with describing the process to additive manufacture a composite mold. The example of a printed one-sided autoclave mold is utilized to describe the process and to introduce a simulation approach used for estimating the in-service deformation of a printed mold. Additionally, this paper demonstrates the use of a printed two-sided compression molding tool in a molding process. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first ever printed compression mold that has been successfully tested. Finally, a deviation analysis of an autoclave printed mold was carried out to investigate the permanent deformation of the mold after undergoing an autoclave cure cycle at 180 °C. The results showed deviations from the original shape within around ±200 μm indicating that the tool can be utilized with confidence in a high-temperature autoclave cycle.
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017