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Fracture Analysis of Rubber Toughened Additively Manufactured Thermosets



This study explores the role of rubber toughening on the dynamic fracture behavior of additively manufactured (AM) high-performance thermosetting polymers formed through digital light processing (DLP). Using DLP to create these polymers allows for rapid, agile manufacturing of prototypes meeting the lightweight and building speed requirements of relevance to military mission applications. This method also provides flexibility in part complexity while maintaining relatively high isotropy compared to traditional AM techniques. Previous work has demonstrated a dependence of these DLP specimens on print layer orientation and loading rate, prompting further investigation into other manufacturing parameters to improve toughness [1]. This study examines the role of rubber toughening on the quasi-static and dynamic fracture behavior of bis-GMA thermosets. Current literature largely reports on quasi-static behavior of DLP specimens, although dynamic conditions are more applicable to many realistic loading scenarios and extreme environments often seen in defense applications. Dynamic experiments leverage a unique long bar striker device that impacts a specimen opposite a pre-crack, sending a stress-wave driven load to initiate a dynamic Mode-I (opening) fracture event. Full-field displacement data ahead of the propagating crack is obtained using ultra high-speed imaging combined with 2D digital image correlation (DIC). An elastodynamic solution following the principles of dynamic fracture mechanics extracts the stress intensity factor (SIF) using a least squares fit at crack initiation and a Newton-Raphson scheme for crack propagation. The rubber toughened thermosets in this study exhibited a rate dependence in fracture toughness with the quasi-static SIF being 1.20 MPa and the dynamic SIF being 0.41 MPa .


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