Evaluating mechanical properties of simply made samples by 3D printing technology at nanoscale provides a clear path to better understand larger-scale responses of complex natural rocks. Therefore, to realize the similarity between synthetically manufactured materials and natural geomaterials, this study focused on nanoscale mechanical characterization of a 3D printed object with only two constituent components (gypsum powder and infiltrant).
The study method includes nanoindentation technique combined with numerical simulation via discrete element method (DEM).
Four typical load-displacement curves were identified from nanoindentation of total test points indicating a typical elastic-plastic behavior of the 3D printed gypsum rock sample. Mechanical parameters such as Young’s modulus and hardness were calculated by energy-based methods and a positive correlation was observed. The infiltrant was found to considerably be responsible for the majority of the sample nano-mechanical behavior rather than the gypsum particles, thus expected to control macroscale properties. This was decided from deconvolution and clustering of elastic modulus data. Particle flow modeling in DEM was used to simulate the nanoindentation process in a porous media yielding rock-alike mechanical behavior.
The results show a matching load-displacement response between experimental and simulation results, which verified the credibility of simulation modeling for mechanical behavior of 3D printed gypsum rock at nanoscale. Finally, differential effective medium theory was used to upscale the nanoindentation results to the macroscale mechanical properties, which provided an insight into the geomechanical modeling at multiscale.
Kong, L., Ostadhassan, M., Lin, R. and Li, C. (2019), "Nanoscale mechanical properties of 3D printed gypsum-powder-based rocks by nanoindentation and numerical modeling", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 1295-1308. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-07-2018-0162
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