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Article

Process Parameters for FFF 3D-Printed Conductors for Applications in Sensors

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Aškerčeva 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2020, 20(16), 4542; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164542
Received: 20 July 2020 / Revised: 5 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 13 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Acquisition and Processing for Fault Diagnosis)
With recent developments in additive manufacturing (AM), new possibilities for fabricating smart structures have emerged. Recently, single-process fused-filament fabrication (FFF) sensors for dynamic mechanical quantities have been presented. Sensors measuring dynamic mechanical quantities, like strain, force, and acceleration, typically require conductive filaments with a relatively high electrical resistivity. For fully embedded sensors in single-process FFF dynamic structures, the connecting electrical wires also need to be printed. In contrast to the sensors, the connecting electrical wires have to have a relatively low resistivity, which is limited by the availability of highly conductive FFF materials and FFF process conditions. This study looks at the Electrifi filament for applications in printed electrical conductors. The effect of the printing-process parameters on the electrical performance is thoroughly investigated (six parameters, >40 parameter values, >200 conductive samples) to find the highest conductivity of the printed conductors. In addition, conductor embedding and post-printing heating of the conductive material are researched. The experimental results helped us to understand the mechanisms of the conductive network’s formation and its degradation. With the insight gained, the optimal printing strategy resulted in a resistivity that was approx. 40% lower than the nominal value of the filament. With a new insight into the electrical behavior of the conductive material, process optimizations and new design strategies can be implemented for the single-process FFF of functional smart structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; material extrusion; fused-filament fabrication, polymer nanocomposite; process parameters; conductive filament additive manufacturing; material extrusion; fused-filament fabrication, polymer nanocomposite; process parameters; conductive filament
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MDPI and ACS Style

Barši Palmić, T.; Slavič, J.; Boltežar, M. Process Parameters for FFF 3D-Printed Conductors for Applications in Sensors. Sensors 2020, 20, 4542. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164542

AMA Style

Barši Palmić T, Slavič J, Boltežar M. Process Parameters for FFF 3D-Printed Conductors for Applications in Sensors. Sensors. 2020; 20(16):4542. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164542

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barši Palmić, Tibor, Janko Slavič, and Miha Boltežar. 2020. "Process Parameters for FFF 3D-Printed Conductors for Applications in Sensors" Sensors 20, no. 16: 4542. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164542

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