Materials Characterization

Material characterization
Microstructure of SLS PA12

Additive manufacturing processes can introduce numerous microstructural features such as porosity, internal interfaces, or variations in crystallinity into a material that can strongly influence mechanical response and failure.  Microstructural characterization is therefore critical to improving processing and understanding material properties.

Mechanical Testing

Tensile testing of anisotropic material

Additively manufactured materials can exhibit complex mechanical behavior.  Issues such as anisotropy, size effects, rate-dependence and non-linear response must be measured experimentally.


Material Modeling

Constitutive models that accurately capture complex material behavior are a necessity for successful finite element analysis (FEA) of additively manufactured parts.

Finite Element Simulation

finite element analysis
Finite element analysis of lattice in bending

With the increasing part complexity enabled by AM comes a greater need to rely upon finite element analysis to predict part performance and failure.

Topology Optimization

topology optimization
Software-optimized structure

Additive manufacturing offers engineers the opportunity to fabricate virtually any shape.  Topology optimization helps engineers efficiently explore the design space they are working in and find solutions.

Lattice and Cellular Structure Design

lattice structures
FEA of a gyroid unit cell (top) and CAD of a lattice structure (bottom)

Additive manufacturing enables the fabrication of lattice and cellular structures which can provide exceptional performance in areas such as energy absorption or stiffness-to-weight ratio.

Failure and Root Cause Analysis

Stress analysis and fracture surface of a failed AM part

Root cause analysis is needed when additively manufactured parts fail unexpectedly during development or in service. Successful failure analysis can require experimental and computational methods to evaluate different failure modes such as fatigue, fracture, overload, and material deficiency.