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Additive manufacturing (AM) of lightweight and energy-efficient composite using continuous fibers to reinforce thermoset polymers is highly desirable in many applications, such as aerospace, vehicles, and constructions. However, the material, architectural, and technical limitations make existing AM technologies unavailable for printing structural and functional thermoset/continuous carbon fiber composite. In my work, we overcome these difficulties and introduced a new AM technology by creating a controllable and dynamic processing window to enable curing of liquid thermoset polymer in continuous carbon fiber structure, realizing a feasible 3D printing of thermoset/continuous carbon fiber composite with near net shape, complex geometry, and programmable performance. Our process enables us to print composite with overhanding structure in free space, without need for support material. This AM technology provides a new 3D printing concept and process knowledge beyond existing AM technologies to potentially enable high throughput processing and geometric complexity of printed composite, and has been demonstrated to be applicable to a wide range of fiber materials, including carbon fibers, carbon nanostructured-fibers, aramid fibers, and glass fibers, and could promisingly produce a transformative impact on the upgrade of additive manufacturing for many applications.
Bio: Kelvin Fu is an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware and UD Center for Composite Materials (CCM). Fu is the elected member of ASME Aerospace Division Structures and Materials Technical Committee, co-founder of CarbonForm Inc., and assistant editor of Composites Part B: Engineering. Fu directs Composites & Additive Manufacturing (CAM) Laboratory and his research is focused on Composites Materials and Manufacturing Innovations. His composite 3D printing technology has been recognized by American Composites Manufacturers Association and received 2020 Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) in Manufacturing: Equipment and Tooling Innovation. Fu is the recipient of 2022 Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Sandra L. Bouckley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, 2021 MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 China, 2021 ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Young Investigator by American Chemical Society (ACS), Young Composites Researcher Award by American Society for Composites (ASC), and SAMPE Young Professionals Emerging Leadership Award. Since 2021, Fu has been leading over $8M projects funded by DOE (Fossil Energy, ARPA-E Open, AMO). Fu has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles with citations over 18000 times. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: https://www.kfu-group.com/
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