Three researchers are exploring the uses of additive manufacturing for high-performance equipment. Stated a recently published Evaluation of the Mechanical Properties of Porous Thermoplastic Polyurethane obtained by 3D printing for Protective Gear.
Over the years, we have witnessed additive manufacturing and 3D printing at work to make both pieces of a wide range of sports equipment and prototypes. They both range from guarding hockey equipment to custom mouth protectors to football helmets.
In this study, experts are testing with the possibility of using thermoplastic polyurethane as a 3D printing material. This is testing traits such as tensile strength, compressibility, and shock absorption.
6 different specimens were 3d printed in different settings by the use of a Cubicon 3D printer. This is at concentrations of 5 or 10 mm, and 10 percent, 50%, and 100% infill. The investigation crew made four portraits of every one of the main specimens. This is so they could attempt four different experiments, getting both standards and approved variations.
Also, the experts analyzed the structure by use of Solidworks 2016, assessing both compression and absorption with TPU exhibiting:
- Elastic modulus 2410 N/mm2
- Shear factor 862.2 N/mm2
- Poisson’s ratio 0.3897
“A 12.7 mm diameter circle was drawn at the center of the surface of each model to set the area of the vertical load, to mimic the actual tests,” said the researchers.
“The load on each sample was set to 50 N, as in the shock absorption tests. After the analysis conditions were set, a mesh of the modeling data was created, and the simulation was executed.”
The specimens did not fracture because of their rubberish material instead of more fragile woven fibers:
“As the TPU fabric is printed directly (i.e., it is not made of woven fibers), the tensile strength is measured in MPa, and the property is different from general fibers. An increase in the TPU infill rate led to an increase in stress, regardless of the sample thickness. This makes the infill ratio an important factor for determining the tensile strength,” explained the researchers.