Additive manufacturing is traditionally used to manufacture either prototypes or very small-scale demonstrators. In recent years though, it is being increasingly used to make low volume parts for the aeronautical and defence industry. One concern with laser sintered parts is that their relatively porous nature, means that they may be more susceptible to ageing than injection moulded parts. Parts were aged for 6 months in at different temperatures (18°C, 40°C, 50°C, 60°C, 80°C and 100°C) and in a humidity chamber at 60°C and 80% relative humidity. Each month samples were removed for characterisation. The testing included tensile testing, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and gas pycnometry. During ageing the samples displayed visible discolouration and embrittlement over the 6-month test period. This embrittlement was not observed in those samples aged at room temperature or an elevated humidity. The observed yellowing in the samples aged above ambient temperature is likely a result of the build-up unsaturated degradation products. No significant differences as a result of ageing were observed via DSC, TGA, SEM or gas pycnometry.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funding for the project was provided by Invest NI thorough the Northern Ireland Advanced Engineering Competence Centre.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- Materials Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Ceramics and Composites