Observation of impact energy absorption performance on idealised trabecular forms in laser sintered nylon

John Richard McCardle, Joe Bunyan
2016 Rapid prototyping journal  
Case studies involving the analysis of impact properties of trabecular bone in mammalian skeletons provide evidence for the natural evolution of energy absorbing architecture as the location of trabecular bone seems to occur in areas that can be subject to high impact and stresses and where the arrangement of the individual trabecular is oriented according to mechanical stimulus. Natural trabecular skeletal bone consists of a complex network of interlinking rod-like and/or plate-like structures
more » ... ate-like structures and is found in varying proportions depending on the anatomical site of natural the skeleton. Designers and engineers may find biomimetic methods of absorbing shock and impact an efficient alternative consideration in design applications. This study investigated whether the trabecular architecture found in natural bone can be effectively replicated through the Selective Laser Sintering process of Nylon P2200. Trabecular bone was idealised into a scaled up hexagonal cell proven to replicate the natural structure. The structure was modelled in Solidworks 2013 to form a network of interlinking cells. The specific property analysed was the structure toughness through the measurement of the energy absorbed before sample fracture. This work documents original testing of both the RP material and consolidated design of samples of idealised bone structures. It was found that impact absorption can be increased with the integration of a greater number of trabecular cells producing a finer resolution and not necessarily by increasing the trabecular size. The information gained from this research may be useful in the design of impact and shock absorbing components, with an emphasis on efficient use of material mass. It also provides an insight into the application of laser sintering as an emerging manufacturing technology to control trabecular detail. It builds on pervious work in the area and through the results of empirical testing, derives recommendations for further considerations in this area of design and manufacture of biomimetic structures.
doi:10.1108/rpj-10-2014-0142 fatcat:xqsyab4e6zf2nho3t2s5xj2lle