Material modelling and property mapping for structural FEA of thin-walled additively manufactured components
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Additive manufacturing is progressively paving the way for optimised lightweight components that, due to their typically complex shape, would hardly be feasible with traditional production methods. However, the peculiar mechanical properties of additively manufactured materials limit the accuracy of structural analyses. In this research, a strategy for the implementation of thickness dependent anisotropy into finite element shell models is developed by example of laser sintered polyamide. The material behaviour was modelled by fitting parametric functions to experimental data. Subsequently, a routine was developed to map the adaptive material properties into a finite element model of a complex component. Numeric simulations with standard and mapped properties were compared and validated via experiments. Results show that the proposed approach is superior to the conventional method in predicting the structural response. The method is not only applicable to laser sintered polymers but relevant for all structures, where anisotropy and thickness must be considered.