One of the key value propositions for polymer additive manufacturing is to create mechanically superior end-use parts using complex geometric structures. Taking advantage of this complexity in a useful way requires sophisticated understanding of the mechanical behavior and failure modes of AM materials.
This talk will share how to accurately predict the mechanical behavior of polymeric AM parts using finite element analysis. Accurate analysis starts with good experimental data on the stress-strain response of the material under the relevant loading conditions. Mechanical properties listed on data sheets are useful for comparative purposes but are not sufficient for simulation-based design. We will discuss how to conduct mechanical testing to get not just mechanical properties but the data needed for accurate material model calibration. A case study will explain how we are accurately predicting the strength and failure mode of an SLS part designed using topology optimization.
We will also explain fatigue and fracture of AM polymers. Getting the most out of an AM polymer requires understanding its mechanical limits under real world loading conditions. Fatigue is a prominent failure mode of engineering plastics and with the accelerating trend of using AM for production, addressing fatigue will become increasingly important to the industry for establishing design stresses in applications subjected to cyclic loading. I will share new experimental results on fatigue life of AM polymers and important observations about the observed failure mechanisms.
- Conduct better mechanical testing for AM polymers
- Simulate polymer AM parts with better accuracy
- Design more reliable AM parts