Samantha Carolina Mora Hidalgo, Ph.D. Candidate 35th cycle, University of Trento, DICAM
The nature’s concepts to reach high strength or energy absorption by means of a precise material distribution only where it is really necessary, have been a constant research target for decades . Examples of cellular structures such as bones, teeth, honeycombs, or nacre, have served as inspiration to study and fabricate architected materials. They present a complex and detailed structural geometry , whose manufacturing can be possible by recent advances in 3D printing technology, reaching a micro-scale and the use of different base materials. As a starting point, the latest works in 3D printed architected lattices, with a special focus in Polyjet technique were analyzed. Thereby, it was identified that nowadays, there is a low number of studies related to the fabrication of 3D printed architected materials that also include an accurate mechanical characterization that considers manufacturing effects.
Our intended fabrication of high-performance micro-lattice materials, aims to obtain high mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness, besides the improvement of buckling and post-buckling resistance, at the lightest density values possible. Even lower than the density of its solid counterpart and trying to cover the suggested gaps in Ashby materials charts. Stretch dominated lattices, whose struts present variable internal radii, were 3D modelled parametrically as a base configuration for the respective numerical simulations, as it can be seen in Figure 1. At the same time, the material characterization of the photopolymer resins for Polyjet technique was done by tensile tests under ASTM D638 procedures. Different printing orientations in the samples, shown in Figure 2, were considered to determine the present anisotropy caused by the process, as well as several materials such as rigid, flexible and the combination of both (Digital Materials).
The next steps are oriented to the optimization of the lattices by increasing their compressive, buckling and post-buckling resistance with the lowest density, in function of varying the struts’ radii and material, adding an analytical and experimental validation. Furthermore, tests related to the inclusion viscoelastic inputs, such as relaxation time modulus, are intended to perform an accurate characterization of the photopolymers and their respective material constitutive model. Then, the obtained outcomes will be able to be extended to custom lattice typologies (i.eg. Functionally graded density or hierarchical lattices).
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 L. Valdevit, K. Bertoldi, J. Guest, and C. Spadaccini, “ARCHITECTED MATERIALS : SYNTHESIS , CHARACTERIZATION , MODELING , AND OPTIMAL DESIGN,” Mater. Res., vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 241–246, 2018.