Term of Award

Summer 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Manufacturing Engineering

Committee Chair

Kamran Kardel

Committee Member 1

Yue Zhang

Committee Member 2

Hossein Taheri


Stereolithography (SLA) additive manufacturing is a method of manufacturing capable of generating complex geometric shapes with very high accuracy. Classic SLA uses UV curable resins, particularly polylactic acid (PLA) for part generation, but recent research has focused on utilizing this technology for the generation of composite materials. Many composite materials have been successfully manufactured using this technology, but very little research has been performed on the generation of carbon fiber-reinforced composite materials. CF-SLA is often overlooked due to carbon fiber’s natural inability to bond with PLA. To overcome this boundary, the author used surface modification techniques on chopped carbon fibers to achieve adequate bonding. Here, two modification techniques were explored: a Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) surfactant addition and Nitric acid (HNO3) etching. These methods were used to functionalize and prepare the surface of chopped CFs for bonding with PLA resin. Treated fibers were dispersed in generic PLA resin, and tensile test specimens were printed for examining the reinforcement potential of the two treatment methods. Additional complexities arise during printing with fibers including fiber alignment, accumulation, and fiber fallout. To address these issues a novel in-process mixing method was developed to maintain fiber dispersion. A two-level three-factor factorial design was performed for both treatment methods to determine optimal parameters. Through mechanical testing, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and contact angle measurements the accompanying material property changes were characterized to further develop the field of fiber-reinforced vat-photopolymerization additive manufacturing.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material