Effect of Material on the Mechanical Properties of Additive Manufactured Thermoplastic Parts
Additive manufacturing (AM) also called 3D printing, is an emerging process in the manufacturing sector with increasing new applications in aerospace, prototyping, medical devices and product development, among others. The resistance of the AM part is determined by the chosen material and the printing parameters. As novel materials and AM methods are continuously being developed, there is a need for the development and mechanical characterization of suitable materials for 3D printing. In this study, the influence of the material and the 3D-printing parameters on the mechanical properties of additive manufactured thermoplastic parts was investigated. Three different filaments that are commercially available: Polylactic acid (PLA), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and Tritan were used. Tensile and flexural tests were carried out, in accordance to ASTM standards, to investigate and compare the mechanical properties of the AM parts as a function of material used. The results showed that the type of filaments had the greatest influence on the mechanical properties of the AM parts. The maximum strength and stiffness were obtained for the PLA specimens. Tritan displayed the highest deformation, while the PLA manifested the lowest deformation capacity. The mechanical properties of the printed parts also depend on the printing parameters. The parameters used in this work are a good compromise between the printing time and the mechanical properties.
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