Multifunctional characteristics of 3D printed polymer nanocomposites under monotonic and cyclic compression

Pawan Verma, Jabir Ubaid, Fahad Alam, Suleyman Deveci, S. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study presents the multifunctional characteristics of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/polypropylene random copolymer (PPR) composites enabled via fused filament fabrication (FFF) under monotonic and quasi-static cyclic compression. Utilizing in-house MWCNT-engineered PPR filament feedstocks, both bulk and cellular composites were realized. The morphological features of nanocomposites were examined via scanning electron microscopy, which reveals that MWCNTs are uniformly dispersed. The uniformly dispersed MWCNTs forms an electrically conductive network within the PPR matrix, and the resulting nanocomposite shows good electrical conductivity (⁓10−1S/cm), improved mechanical performance (modulus increases by 125% and compressive strength increases by 25% for 8 wt% MWCNT loading) and pronounced piezoresistive response (gauge factor of 27.9–8.5 for bulk samples) under compression. The influence of strain rate on the piezoresistive response of bulk samples (4 wt% of MWCNT) under compression was also measured. Under repeated cyclic compression (2% constant strain amplitude), the nanocomposite exhibited stable piezoresistive performance up to 100 cycles. The piezoresistive response under repeated cyclic loading with increasing strain amplitude of was also assessed. The gauge factor of BCC and FCC cellular composites (4 wt% of MWCNT) with a relative density of 30% was observed to be 46.4 and 30.2 respectively, under compression. The higher sensitivity of the BCC plate-lattice could be attributed to its higher degree of stretching-dominated deformation behavior than the FCC plate-lattice, which exhibits bending-dominated behavior. The 3D printed cellular PPR/MWCNT composites structures were found to show excellent piezoresistive self-sensing characteristics and open new avenues for in situ structural health monitoring in various applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDefence Technology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


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