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Fatigue and Creep Behavior of Polymers Manufactured by Selective Laser Sintering

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As additive manufacturing continues to be adopted for end use applications, performance characteristics beyond typical mechanical properties are becoming much more important to successful implementation. Time dependent behaviors, such as creep and fatigue, are critical to long term performance of parts generated by additive manufacturing. In this study, the physical and economic implications of long-term performance of laser sintered parts are investigated.

To better understand the time dependent mechanical behavior of additively manufactured parts in demanding applications, laser sintered PA12 was investigated side by side with Jabil’s PK5000. It was found through dynamic mechanical analysis and the use of time temperature superposition that the PK5000 experiences a fraction of the deflection in comparison to the PA12 comparison case over a period of 30 years. Additionally, fatigue testing found that PK5000 outperforms PA12 by at least two orders of magnitude at all loadings studied, indicating significant improvements in part life. In addition to the technical analysis, the outputs were used to better understand the economic implications of materials with enhanced long-term performance in selective laser sintering.

Learning Objectives:

  • Time dependent and cyclic mechanical performance is of the utmost importance for adoption of additive materials in end use applications.
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis and fatigue testing reveal that Jabil’s PK5000 outperforms its PA12 comparison case in both creep and fatigue performance.
  • Improving both time and cycles to failure can significantly improve part longevity making a compelling case for additive manufacturing over other technologies.