This paper aims to investigate the tensile strength of partially filled fused filament fabrication (FFF) printed parts with respect of cross-sectional geometry of partially filled test pieces. It was reported in the authors’ earlier work that the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) is inversely proportional to the cross-sectional area of a specimen, whereas the number of shells and infill density are directly proportional to the UTS with all other parameters being held constant. Here, the authors present an in-depth evaluation of the phenomenon and a parametric model that can provide useful estimates of the UTS of the printed part by accounting for the dimensions of the solid floor/roof layers, shells and infills.
It was found that partially filled FFF printed parts consist of hollow sections. Because of these voids, the conventional method of determining the UTS via the gross cross-sectional area given by A = b × h, where b and h are the width and thickness of the printed part, respectively, cannot be used. A mathematical model of a more accurate representation of the cross-sectional area of a partially filled part was formulated. Additionally, the model was extended to predict the dimensions as well as the lateral distortion of the respective features within a printed part using input values from the experimental data.
The result from this investigation shows that to calculate the UTS of a partially filled FFF part, the calculation based on the conventional approach is not sufficient. A new meta-model is proposed which takes into account the geometry of the internal features to give an estimate of the strength of a partially filled printed part that is closer to the value of the strength of the material that is used for fabricating the part.
This paper investigates the tensile strength of a partially filled FFF printed part. The results have shown that the tensile strength of a partially filled part can be similar to that of a solid part, at a lower cost: shorter printing time and lower material usage. By taking into account the geometries within a printed part, the cross-sectional area can be accurately represented. The mathematical model which was developed would aid end-users to predict the tensile strength for a given set of input values of the process parameters.
Mahmood, S., Qureshi, A.J., Goh, K.L. and Talamona, D. (2017), "Tensile strength of partially filled FFF printed parts: meta modelling", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 524-533. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-10-2015-0151
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