The influence of dynamic rheological properties on carbon fiber-reinforced polyetherimide for large-scale extrusion-based additive manufacturing

  • Christine AjinjeruEmail author
  • Vidya Kishore
  • John Lindahl
  • Zeke Sudbury
  • Ahmed Arabi Hassen
  • Brian Post
  • Lonnie Love
  • Vlastimil Kunc
  • Chad Duty


Printing high-performance thermoplastics on large scale extrusion-based additive manufacturing platforms requires stability over a range of processing conditions. However, studies on the melt dynamics and processing conditions of these thermoplastics in big area additive manufacturing (BAAM) are limited. This study characterizes the dynamic rheological behavior of polyetherimide (PEI), a high-performance thermoplastic, as well as carbon fiber (CF)-reinforced PEI composites as a BAAM feedstock material. The viscoelastic properties, such as the storage and loss moduli and complex viscosity, are investigated in relation to the BAAM extrusion process. The results show that CF-PEI composites behave like a viscous liquid during BAAM extrusion. The addition of CF to PEI enhances the shear thinning effect and significantly increases the complex viscosity (2.5× increase for 20% CF, and 3× for 30% CF). The increased viscosity increases the torque on the extruder, which may be alleviated by increasing the material processing temperature.


Large scale additive manufacturing Carbon fiber-reinforced PEI Dynamic rheological properties Additive manufacturing processing conditions Melt rheology 


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Research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC. The authors also thank SABIC for providing materials used for this work.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate EducationKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.The Manufacturing Demonstration FacilityOak Ridge National LaboratoryKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.University of Tennessee Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical EngineeringKnoxvilleUSA
  4. 4.Purdue University School of Aeronautics and AstronauticsWest LafayetteUSA

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