Michelle Williams has authored a study (carried out at Sandia National Laboratories and funded by Laboratory Directed Research and Development) for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, outlining recent findings about unique materials for digital fabrication in Geomechanical characterization of Geo-architectural Rock Specimens using Gypsum-based 3D printing.’
Because of the natural diversity in rock samples being studied by scientists, there are often challenges in classification. Williams’ study is meant to improve methods for the evaluation of characteristics in natural rock. As with so many other fields too, ranging from automotive to aerospace, medicine and dental, construction, and nearly every industry one can think of, 3D printing offers improvements on previous methods, designs, prototypes and parts, and more.
In relation to rocks, 3D printed models can help scientists have a better understanding of the following:
- Mineralogical interactions
Conventional methods for study include microscopy, CT scans, micro-CT scans, and many other techniques, to include rock mass classification; however, issues such as fractures, bedding, inclusions, joints, and more, present challenges during examination. Many benefits arise with the use of 3D printing, from ease in production of models as well as speed, affordability, and the potential for fabrication of complex geometries.
The scientists printed 36 samples in cylinder form, using a powder-based Gypsum 3D ProJet360 printer with an HP11 printhead and VisiJet PXL Clear binder as the material.
The researchers noted velocity and took pictures of each sample before evaluation; they were then baked in a humidity chamber and tested on an MTS 22kip frame.
Stress versus strain curves reflected the greatest strength in samples printed in the H-long direction, with the vertically printed samples coming in second. H-short samples were the weakest.
“With varying amount of binder, the larger amount (blue) resulted in the strongest rock during UCS testing,” stated Williams. “Density was also measured to ensure additional binder amount, and the higher density sample is the sample with the larger amount of binder.”
The environment was responsible for differences in strength. The team noted that baked samples were strongest, while weakest were left in humidity levels of 80 percent.
“Test results of the 3D printed geo-architected rock specimens demonstrated reasonable reproducibility and appear to be a promising path towards increasing the ability to characterize natural rock,” concluded Williams.
“Future work could improve the Python code to also calculate and compare Young’s Modulus from the UCS data versus that from the velocity measurements. Due to the high impact of the 3D printing, advances in the technology appear inevitable. Such advances may help control sample microstructure, which will increase the value of this technology for understanding classification of rock characteristics.”
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Geomechanical characterization of Geo-architectural Rock Specimens using Gypsum-based 3D printing.’]
You May Also Like
US Army Brings Supersonic LightSPEE3D Metal 3D Printer to Rock Island Arsenal
Australian company SPEE3D works hard to make metal additive manufacturing easier, and faster, for customers through its patented supersonic 3D deposition (SP3D) technology, which utilizes cold spray additive manufacturing (CSAM),...
3D Printing News Briefs, August 5, 2020: Titan Robotics & Braskem, 3DPRINTUK
Today’s 3D Printing News Briefs is about materials and a 3D printed version of a real building. Titan Robotics and Braskem are partnering up to offer new solutions in 3D...
QuesTek Innovations Wins US Air Force-America Makes 3D Printing Challenge
QuesTek Innovations has won the Macroscale Structure-to-Properties Predictions portion of an intensive four-part AFRL AM Modeling Challenge Series sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and America Makes. Founded in 2012,...
IDAM’s Automotive 3D Printing Production Lines Make Progress with BMW, GKN and More
Since the inception of the Industrialization and Digitalization of Additive Manufacturing (IDAM) project in March 2019, progress has been made: partners have been creating the promised digitalized AM pilot lines,...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.