Multifunctional composites offer a higher strength to weight ratio, electrical properties, etc., thereby providing possible solutions for replacing the physical electrical wirings in aircraft. The lack of research on the coupled multifunctional characterization of 3D printed composites flexural-electrical properties is the main reason for its unsuitability in aerospace applications. The proposed method evaluates multifunctional flexural‐electrical properties of 3D printed multifunctional carbon fiber composites. Traditional methods for conducting structural and electrical analyses for aircraft certification do not accommodate new technologies that are not yet proven. Such technologies are additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, multifunctional composite structures, and the certification requirements for 3D printed multifunctional carbon fiber composites for use in aircraft. In this study, the multifunctional 3D printed specimens were concurrently evaluated for flexural‐electrical properties using three‐point bending and electrical conductivity tests. The results showed that the multifunctional properties included the maximum flexural strength of 271 MPa and the maximum electrical resistance of 55.1 G Ohms, with the failure modes and mechanisms found to be consistent with the traditional composites. Due to its infancy, the existing AM techniques, and the use of the multifunctional carbon fiber composites manufactured using those AM technologies, are not implemented on a large commercial scale.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

3D printing; Ambient temperature testing; Continuous carbon fiber solid laminate; Coupled flexural‐electrical evaluation; Multifunctional composites

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

01 Oct 2021