Thermoplastic Composites by 3D Printing and Automated Manufacturing to Extend the Life of Transportation Facilities

Recent advances in large-scale 3D printing and thermoplastic composite materials with bio-based fillers and reinforcements have great potential for expanding the possibilities of making forms for precast concrete structures. The 3D printing technology for making molds, forms, and tooling for precast concrete is expected to reduce labor cost. 3D printed molds allow design optimization of precast concrete parts since the additive manufacturing cost is only a function of thermoplastic material weight and is independent of part complexity. Additionally, 3D printed molds become an asset, since thermoplastic composite materials can be reprocessed. However, the performance and durability of such molds needs to be evaluated to ensure optimal performance with repeated casting and demolding operations. The work of this research project will evaluate the mechanical performance of 3D printed molds after repeated use during casting of concrete and removal of the cured concrete part. Additionally, the work conducted by the research team will evaluate the durability and dimensional tolerance of bio-based 3D printed forms. The objectives of the project are to: a. Identify potential applications for large-scale 3D printing of forms and tooling for precast concrete parts in transportation using bio-based fillers and reinforcements and cost-effective thermoplastic materials. b. Determine the feasibility of making 3D printed forms for optimized precast concrete parts and elements to extend durability and reduce cost. c. Document the demonstration of large-scale 3D printing of precast concrete forms and assess the quality of the parts. Establish material and manufacturing specifications to assist the DOTs implementation of this technology in transportation applications. d. Investigate the potential for recycling the 3D printed forms and tooling and reusing/reprinting the wood-filled thermoplastic material to make it a capital asset for precasters.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $308,379
  • Contract Numbers:

    69A3551847101

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Maine, Orono

    103 Boardman Hall
    Orono, ME  United States  04469

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center

    University of Maine
    Orono, ME  United States  04469

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Dunn, Denise

  • Performing Organizations:

    Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center

    University of Maine
    Orono, ME  United States  04469

    University of Maine, Orono

    103 Boardman Hall
    Orono, ME  United States  04469
  • Principal Investigators:

    Lopez-Anido, Roberto

    Anderson, James

    Gardner, Douglas

    Han, Yousoo

  • Start Date: 20190101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20221231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01698522
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551847101
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2019 12:28PM