Polyamide 12 (PA12) properties meet specific requirements for various applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. Bulk specimens made of PA12 and processed via the additive manufacturing technique such as selective laser sintering (SLS) present a layered structure. In case of structural applications, the fatigue performance of SLS PA12 parts is of vital importance and fatigue response studies in these type of materials are still scarce. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the effect of the applied load orientation on the fatigue crack propagation behaviour of the layered structure of SLS PA12.
With the aim of understanding the effect of the applied load with respect to the layer orientation on the fatigue crack growth of SLS PA12, fatigue crack growth tests were carried out at two orientations. The specimens called PARA were orientated in such a way that the applied force direction belongs to the layer plane while in the group called PERP, the tensile force direction is coincident with the build direction, that is, perpendicular to the slice. Besides, special attention has been paid to the analysis of the fracture surfaces of the specimens, linking the micromechanisms of failure with the microstructure of the material.
The SLS PA12 specimens tested with the load applied parallel to the layered structure show a little better fatigue response than those tested at perpendicular orientation. The fracture surfaces of the specimens tested at perpendicular orientation are slightly smoother than those tested at parallel orientation. Crazes are the main micromechanism of failure with a crater size of 50 microns, which coincide with the spherulite size. This indicates that the void nucleation of the crazes takes places between lamellae inside the spherulites, and consequently, the craze growth and rupture occurs mainly in a transspherulitic mode.
PA12 parts manufactured via SLS are becoming more valuable in structural elements in the automative and aeronatical fields. In such applications, fatigue performance is vital for design. Fatigue studies are scarce in literature and even more when dealing with fatigue crack growth behaviour. The value of this work is the analysis of the fatigue crack growth response of these materials taking into account the anisotropic microstructure and to get a better understanding, this behaviour is explained taking into account the micromechanisms of failure and the microstructure of the material.
The authors are indebted to Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain for their financial support through project DPI2016-80389-C2-1-R.
Cano, A.J., Salazar, A. and Rodríguez, J. (2019), "Effect of the orientation on the fatigue crack growth of polyamide 12 manufactured by selective laser sintering", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 820-829. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-09-2018-0255
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