Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Damon A. Smith

Second Advisor

Paul J. Schilling

Third Advisor

Paul D. Herrington


This thesis explores the incorporation of silver microparticle and submicron wire additives into thermoplastic filament feedstock for fused filament fabrication (FFF) to create multifunctional three-dimensional (3D) printable composites. The impact of silver microparticle and submicron wire additives on mechanical behavior along with antibacterial effect of the silver microparticle and submicron wire additives on printed objects were assessed.

Composite FFF filaments were fabricated by solution processing, granulation, and extrusion. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was conducted to measure the glass transition and melting point temperatures of the composite filaments for 3D printing. The effect of the additive addition on the thermal properties and tensile mechanical performance was measured. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to analyze the composite microstructure and fracture behavior. The reduction in the growth of Escherichia coli (E. coli) was measured after exposure to FFF-printed composite test specimens with additive concentrations ranging from 0.0 to 10.0 weight percent.


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