A comprehensive investigation of the mechanical behavior and the dielectrics of pure polylactic acid (PLA) and PLA with graphene (GnP) in fused deposition modeling (FDM)

  • N. Vidakis
  • M. PetousisEmail author
  • K. Savvakis
  • A. Maniadi
  • E. Koudoumas
Research Article


In this work, the mechanical response of fused deposition modeling (FDM) specimens made of polylactic acid (PLA) and polylactic acid nanocomposite with graphene (PLA GnP) filler is experimentally determined. A wide variety of standard tests was performed. Test results were assessed to depict quantitatively the mechanical properties of the materials tested. Comprehensive comparison of the mechanical strength between FDM-printed PLA and PLA GnP polymers was carried out to illustrate the filler’s impact. Effect of the FDM process in these materials’ properties arises by comparing them to the ones of the bulk or injection molded specimens, in quantitative and qualitative terms. Comparison demonstrates that both polymers exhibit similar behavior in every case, with slight domination of the PLA to the PLA GnP composite. Test results were correlated with the patterns of the specimens’ fractured surfaces, obtained through scanning electron microscopy. Effect of graphene in the dielectrics of the material is also evaluated, with the measurements showing a significant increase in the dielectric values, with the addition of this specific nanocomposite in the material.


Nanopolymer composites 3D printing Fused deposition modeling (FDM) Polylactic acid (PLA) PLA with graphene (PLA GnP) Mechanical properties 



Authors would like to thank Dr. Mirella Suchea (IMT Bucharest) for the SEM support. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


No funding was received for this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentTechnological Education Institute of CreteHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Electrical Engineering DepartmentTechnological Education Institute of CreteHeraklionGreece

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