Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


Sponsored by Raytheon and Dr. Anthony Rafanelli, The Material Tailors are determining whether or not additive manufacturing can be used to tailor material properties. The purpose is to focus on a tailoring specific material properties using a 3D printer filament, depending on manufacturer needs. The material properties chosen to focus on are strength and corresponding Young’s Modulus, yield strength and ultimate tensile strength as well as dimensional stability.

In order to accomplish these measures, preliminary measures included finding materials that exhibit strength and durability. As a result, Nylon, ABS, PLA, carbon fiber, carbon fiber reinforced PLA and PETG filaments were chosen. Nylon is a tough material that has high tensile strength and the prints it produces are strong and resistant to damage. However, when printing with this material in 2019, issues arose and printing was discontinued due to time constraints. ABS is a material that is hard to break but it is easily broken down by UV radiation meaning that it is not suitable for long-term outdoor use because it becomes brittle. PLA is the most common filament to use as it is a resilient material, however, it deforms at higher temperatures and is prone to shattering under stress. Carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced PLA have similar properties that provide rigidity, strength and are lightweight, however, they are brittle and can be easily fractured. Lastly, PETG is a plastic commonly used in plastic bottles but with additional glycol to add strength. PETG has the useful characteristics of ABS in terms of rigidity and mechanical properties for functional parts along with the ease the printing PLA comes with. It is important to obtain data regarding these material properties to better understand them. This was accomplished by 3D printing using ASTM D638 for a Type 1 dogbone and then tensile testing using an Instron 5582 machine. Further testing such as the flex, dimensional stability and hardness tests yielded values that are critical to the design of a potential product and will be incorporated into a user friendly database for manufacturers in order to determine what material is unparalleled for use.

As stated previously, each material used will have strength and corresponding Young’s Modulus that will be tailored in order to understand how these measures react under varying stresses and strains. This is turn, will provide a useful database application that can be used in industry or commercially. As of right now, Raytheon does not require a physical final product but overall research on what material is best to use in a way that it provides high strength and dimensional stability.


Sponsor: Raytheon Company

Sponsor Representative: Anthony Rafanelli