This projects seeks to expand the use of high-performance thermoplastics in commercial applications by developing a complete database of material properties for FDM printing of ULTEM 9085.
ULTEM 9085 is a polyetherimide high-performance thermoplastic material with application-acceptable strength-to-weight ratio and flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) ratings. This material is often used in aerospace, automotive, and other industrial applications where a high strength thermoplastic material is needed. As this material is one of the only high performance thermoplastic materials available for fused deposition modeling (FDM), it is important to establish a complete database of material properties to expand its use in various commercial and government applications. Such a database is a minimum requirement for deployment of an additively manufactured solution in a production environment and currently does not exist.
The objective of this program is to develop a dataset available to America Makes members and government partners for broad dissemination of the collective knowledge for future part design. This methodology will enable industry members to use their own design allowable methodologies for statistical data analysis, thereby creating a well utilized and broadly applied dataset.
A material specification is being created to define the process for production and certification of ULTEM 9085 for FDM applications. A process control specification is being developed to outline the process control steps necessary to produce qualified samples and parts via FDM. Once these critical documents are defined, a material allowable test plan and test matrix will be established and approved by a peer advisory group. This test matrix and plan will outline a “qualification” program which is designed to demonstrate process control. The test matrix and plan will also define an “equivalency” program to be completed at two additional sites (one machine at each site).
The successful completion of this part of the program will enable the equivalency process to be completed by a user who has a Fortus 900mc machine, facilitating broad dissemination of the technology. Coupons manufactured under both the qualification and equivalency portions of the plan will be tested according to the test matrix at the National Institute for Avionics Research (NIAR) and will be completed under guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Other Project Participants
- NIAR at Wichita State University
- Zodiac Aerospace
- U.S. Department of Defense
- National Science Foundation
- U.S. Department of Energy