Additive manufacturing, the layer-by-layer creation of parts, was initially used for rapid prototyping of new designs. Recently, due to the decrease in the cost and increase in the resolution and strength of additively manufactured parts, additive manufacturing is increasingly being used for production of parts for end-use applications. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), a type of 3d printing, is a process of additive manufacturing in which a molten thermoplastic material is extruded to create the desired geometry. Many potential heat transfer applications of 3d printed parts, including the development of additively manufactured heat exchangers, exist. In addition, the availability of metal/polymer composite filaments, first used for applications such as tooling for injection molding applications and to improve wear resistance, could lead to increased performance 3d printed heat exchangers because of the higher thermal conductivity of the material. However, the exploitation of 3d printing for heat transfer applications is hindered by a lack of reliable thermal conductivity data for as-printed materials, which typically include significant void fractions. In this experimental study, an apparatus to measure the effective thermal conductivity of 3d printed composite materials was designed and fabricated. Its ability to accurately measure the thermal conductivity of polymers was validated using a sample of acrylic, whose conductivity is well understood. Finally, the thermal conductivities of various 3d printed polymer, metal/polymer composite, and carbon/polymer composite filaments were measured and are reported in this paper. The materials used are acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), stainless steel/PLA, Brass/PLA, and Bronze/PLA.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.