An ever-growing amount of composite waste will be generated in the upcoming years. New circular strategies based on 3D printing technologies are emerging as potential solutions although 3D-printed products made of recycled composites may require post-processing. Metallization represents a viable way to foster their exploitation for new applications. This paper shows the use of physical vapor deposition sputtering for the metallization of recycled glass fiber-reinforced polymers processed by UV-assisted 3D printing. Different batches of 3D-printed samples were produced, post-processed, and coated with a chromium metallization layer to compare the results before and after the metallization process and to evaluate the quality of the finishing from a qualitative and quantitative point of view. The analysis was conducted by measuring the surface gloss and roughness, analyzing the coating morphology and thickness through the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) micrographs of the cross-sections, and assessing its adhesion with cross-cut tests. The metallization was successfully performed on the different 3D-printed samples, achieving a good homogeneity of the coating surface. Despite the influence of the staircase effect, these results may foster the investigation of new fields of application, as well as the use of different polymer-based composites from end-of-life products, i.e., carbon fiber-reinforced polymers.

Metallization of Recycled Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymers Processed by UV-Assisted 3D Printing

Romani, Alessia;Levi, Marinella;Turri, Stefano;Suriano, Raffaella
2022-01-01

Abstract

An ever-growing amount of composite waste will be generated in the upcoming years. New circular strategies based on 3D printing technologies are emerging as potential solutions although 3D-printed products made of recycled composites may require post-processing. Metallization represents a viable way to foster their exploitation for new applications. This paper shows the use of physical vapor deposition sputtering for the metallization of recycled glass fiber-reinforced polymers processed by UV-assisted 3D printing. Different batches of 3D-printed samples were produced, post-processed, and coated with a chromium metallization layer to compare the results before and after the metallization process and to evaluate the quality of the finishing from a qualitative and quantitative point of view. The analysis was conducted by measuring the surface gloss and roughness, analyzing the coating morphology and thickness through the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) micrographs of the cross-sections, and assessing its adhesion with cross-cut tests. The metallization was successfully performed on the different 3D-printed samples, achieving a good homogeneity of the coating surface. Despite the influence of the staircase effect, these results may foster the investigation of new fields of application, as well as the use of different polymer-based composites from end-of-life products, i.e., carbon fiber-reinforced polymers.
2022
additive manufacturing, 3D printing, surface finishing, physical vapor deposition, composites, recycling, polymer-matrix composites (PMCs), direct ink writing, liquid deposition modeling, glass fibers
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1220599
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