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    Influence of 3D microstructure pattern and infill density on the mechanical and thermal properties of PET-G filaments

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    This study aims to evaluate the thermal and mechanical performances of PET-G thermoplastics with different 3D microstructure patterns and infill densities. The production costs were also estimated to identify the most cost-effective solution. A total of 12 infill patterns were analysed, including Gyroid, Grid, Hilbert curve, Line, Rectilinear, Stars, Triangles, 3D Honeycomb, Honeycomb, Concentric, Cubic, and Octagram spiral with a fixed infill density of 25%. Different infill densities ranging from 5% to 20% were also tested to determine the best geometries. Thermal tests were conducted in a hotbox test chamber and mechanical properties were evaluated using a series of three-point bending tests. The study used printing parameters to meet the construction sector’s specific needs, including a larger nozzle diameter and printing speed. The internal microstructures led to variations of up to 70% in thermal performance and up to 300% in mechanical performance. For each geometry, the mechanical and thermal performance was highly correlated with the infill pattern, where higher infill improved thermal and mechanical performances. The economic performance showed that, in most cases, except for the Honeycomb and 3D Honeycomb, there were no significant cost differences between infill geometries. These findings can provide valuable insights for selecting the optimal 3D printing parameters in the construction industry.This work was partly financed by FCT/MCTES through national funds (PIDDAC) under the R&D Unit Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering (ISISE), under reference UIDB/04029/2020, and under the Associate Laboratory Advanced Production and Intelligent Systems ARISE under reference LA/P/0112/2020. The work was also partly financed by the program Portugal Norte 2020-Projetos Estruturados I&D, with the reference NORTE 01-0145-FEDER-000058—ZeroSkin+ project
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