Tensile Properties of In Situ 3D Printed Glass Fiber-Reinforced PLA

Khairul Izwan Ismail, Rayson Pang, Rehan Ahmed, Tze Chuen Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


A 3D printed composite via the fused filament fabrication (FFF) technique has potential to enhance the mechanical properties of FFF 3D printed parts. The most commonly employed techniques for 3D composite printing (method 1) utilized premixed composite filaments, where the fibers were integrated into thermoplastic materials prior to printing. In the second method (method 2), short fibers and thermoplastic were mixed together within the extruder of a 3D printer to form a composite part. However, no research has been conducted on method 3, which involves embedding short fibers into the printed object during the actual printing process. A novel approach concerning 3D printing in situ fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) by embedding glass fibers between deposited layers during printing was proposed recently. An experimental investigation has been undertaken to evaluate the tensile behavior of the composites manufactured by the new manufacturing method. Neat polylactic acid (PLA) and three different glass fiber-reinforced polylactic acid (GFPLA) composites with 1.02%, 2.39%, and 4.98% glass fiber contents, respectively, were 3Dprinted. Tensile tests were conducted with five repetitions for each sample. The fracture surfaces of the samples were then observed under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition, the porosities of the 3D printed samples were measured with a image processing software (ImageJ 1.53t). The result shows that the tensile strengths of GFPLA were higher than the neat PLA. The tensile strength of the composites increased from GFPLA-1 (with a 1.02% glass fiber content) to GFPLA-2.4 (with a 2.39% glass fiber content), but drastically dropped at GFPLA-5 (with a 4.98% glass fiber content). However, the tensile strength of GFPLA-5 is still higher than the neat PLA. The fracture surfaces of tensile samples were observed under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The SEM images showed the average line width of the deposited material increased as glass fiber content increased, while layer height was maintained. The intralayer bond of the deposited filaments improved via the new fiber embedding method. Hence, the porosity area is reduced as glass fiber content increased.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3436
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2023


  • 3D printing
  • PLA composites
  • fiber-reinforced composite
  • fused deposition modelling
  • mechanical characterization
  • scanning electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


Dive into the research topics of 'Tensile Properties of In Situ 3D Printed Glass Fiber-Reinforced PLA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this