Multimaterial Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing of Compliant Crack Arrester: Influence of Interlayer Length, Thickness, and Applied Strain Rate

Christoph Waly, Sandra Petersmann, Florian Arbeiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Additive manufacturing is a useful tool for fabricating complex multimaterial structures. Compliant interlayers (ILs) can easily be introduced into stiff materials to increase toughness and stop or impede crack growth, as is done in nature. The aim herein is to analyze the influence of varying IL lengths and thicknesses on crack propagation in 3D-printed polymers at different loading rates. A glycol-modified poly(ethylene terephthalate) is used as a matrix material, while a thermoplastic elastomer on a copolyester basis serves as an compliant IL. Specimen fabrication is done with a fused filament fabrication 3D printer equipped with a multimaterial unit, which allows to print a component composed of several materials within one print. Additively manufactured Charpy samples are tested in three-point bending at loading rates between 0.1 mm min−1 and 3.8 m s−1. The thickness of the IL almost shows no effect on energy absorption as long as remaining in the same printing orientation and loading rate. For varying IL lengths, a constant fight between crack penetration and crack deflection occurs. At low loading rates, the IL acts as a defect. As the loading rate increases, the total absorbed energy of composites increases compared with the pure matrix material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2101703
Number of pages11
Journal Advanced engineering materials
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the project CAMed (COMET K‐Project 871132), which was funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) and the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG). Furthermore, the authors acknowledge support from the Montanuniversitaet Leoben. Special thanks also to Jürgen Grosser (Materials Science and Testing of Polymers) for his competent support with testing infrastructure.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Advanced Engineering Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • additive manufacturing
  • crack arresters
  • fused filament fabrications
  • mechanical properties
  • poly(ethylene terephthalate)

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