Technologies, Vol. 9, Pages 75: Comparing Performance of 3D-Printed and Injection-Molded Fiber-Reinforced Composite Parts in Ring-Spinning Traveler Application
Technologies doi: 10.3390/technologies9040075
Fiber-reinforced 3D printing (3DP) technology is a recent addition to the material extrusion-based 3DP process unlocking huge potential to apply this technology for high-performance material fabrication with complex geometries. However, in order to take the full advantage of this technology, a comparative analysis with existing technologies targeting a particular application is necessary to understand its commercial applicability. Here, an applied composite part, ring-spinning travelers, has been developed using the unique design features of fiber-reinforced 3DP technology that is beyond the capability of the currently used technology; the injection molding, quality, and performance of the printed and molded travelers were investigated and compared. The results demonstrated that fiber-reinforced 3DP is a promising technology that offers a lot of flexibility regarding reinforcement patterns and materials including both short and continuous fibers to tailor the performance, although the printed travelers showed poorer surface characteristics and wear resistance than the molded travelers. Based on the present analysis, a number of recommendations have been proposed on the design of the traveler to apply the technology effectively and use the printer to improvise and manipulate the performance of the travelers.
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