Title: An analysis of Digital ABS as a rapid tooling material for polymer injection moulding

Authors: Neri Volpato; Daphene Marques Solis; Carlos Alberto Costa

Addresses: Prototyping and Tooling Group (NUFER), Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPR), Av. Sete de Setembro, 3165, CEP 80230-901, Curitiba-PR, Brazil ' Prototyping and Tooling Group (NUFER), Federal University of Technology – Paraná (UTFPR), Av. Sete de Setembro, 3165, CEP 80230-901, Curitiba-PR, Brazil ' Research Group on Engineering Design and Manufacturing, Post-Graduation Program on Mechanical Engineering, University of Caxias do Sul (UCS), Rua Francisco Getúlio Vargas, 1130, P.O. Box 1352, ZIP: 95020-972, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brazil

Abstract: Rapid tooling (RT) is an important application of additive manufacturing (AM). However, applications in this field are very dependent on the material that is available for use in AM processes. This work investigates the application of the new Digital ABS material from Stratasys in RT, focusing primarily on dimensional and surface stability during the injection process, and the influence the material has on the properties of the final moulding. Digital ABS was used to make inserts to inject standard specimens, which were compared with specimens produced using inserts made of two metallic materials (SAE 1045 steel and Zamak 8). Polypropylene (PP) was used to produce the specimens (50 shots). Insert surface quality and dimensional variations during injection were analysed. The influence of the material used on moulding properties was assessed by tensile, bending, impact and hardness tests and by measuring the crystallinity of the mouldings. The results show that in terms of dimensional and surface quality, the behaviour of Digital ABS during injection moulding was stable. The properties of mouldings produced with inserts made from digital ABS were only slightly different from those produced with inserts made from SAE 1045 steel and Zamak 8.

Keywords: rapid tooling materials; additive manufacturing; polypropylene; Digital ABS; PP copolymers; polymer injection moulding; dimensional stability; surface stability; tool inserts; insert surface quality; dimensional variations; tensile tests; bending tests; impact tests; hardness tests; crystallinity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2016.073616

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2016 Vol.52 No.1/2, pp.3 - 16

Available online: 14 Dec 2015 *

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