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Investigating the stress relaxation of photopolymer O-ring seal models

Czesław Kundera (Department of Mechanical Technology and Metrology, Kielce University of Technology, Kielce, Poland)
Jerzy Bochnia (Faculty of Mechatronics and Machine Design, Kielce University of Technology, Kielce, Poland)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 20 October 2014




This paper aims to investigate the suitability of additive manufacturing to produce O-ring seals.


The O-rings were made by the PolyJet-Matrix technology using four different digital materials and then tested for relaxation properties under static and dynamic (sliding) conditions. The approximation of the relaxation curves involved modelling with a Prony series.


The PolyJet-Matrix technology offers new opportunities to model elastomeric elements, with examples being the O-rings produced and tested for their relaxation properties. Describing the behaviour of the particular materials fabricated with this technology by using relaxation functions will extend the knowledge base on digital materials.

Research limitations/implications

The four types of photopolymers used in the experiment differed in viscoelastic properties. The analysis of the stress relaxation of the O-ring models was performed at four different step displacements of the loading element.

Practical implications

The test results may be useful for the design of O-ring seals made of new elastomeric materials. The relaxation properties of the O-rings made of such materials can be applied to analyse the dynamics of seals, for instance, face seals.


The originality of the work lies in the use of digital materials to design and produce elastomeric elements with different relaxation properties, which was confirmed by the test results. This paper presents results of a relaxation analysis for a ring model and the material that the ring is made of. It also discusses how 3D printing and digital materials can be applied in practice.



The study was conducted using research facilities purchased with EU funds in the framework of the 2007-2013 Development of Eastern Poland Operational Programme, LABIN Project – Support for Innovative Research Facilities of the Kielce University of Technology in Kielce. Priority 1 – Innovative Economy, Measure 1.3 – Support for R&D Projects.


Kundera, C. and Bochnia, J. (2014), "Investigating the stress relaxation of photopolymer O-ring seal models", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 533-540.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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