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    3D Printing Carbon PEEK Optimizes Vehicle Blade Spring for Good Comfort
    03.18.2021 | CC Collaborator | News

    With the rapid development of science and technology, 3D printing materials have been proved to be important materials in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. Recently, researchers have compared the leaf springs of Dodge SUV by using carbon PEEK printed in 3D. Their findings are summarized in "Design Optimization and Finite Element Analysis of Single-leaf Springs Based on 3D Printed Carbon PEEK".

    creality-3d-printer-01(3D Printing of Carbon PEEK Material Parameters)

    Leaf spring is a simple form of spring, commonly known as "balestra", which is usually used in automobile suspension. Vehicles must have good suspension system in order to achieve good driving and human comfort.

    In previous studies, the main purpose is to determine the elastic strain energy and strength-weight ratio of composite-based leaf springs compared with steel. The purpose of this study is to explore the possibility and capability of additional material manufacturing in the process of developing leaf springs using carbon PEEK materials printed in 3D, and to analyze various parameters, such as:

    Fiber orientation
    Fiber diameter
    Percentage of volume fraction of fibre filler
    Different load conditions

    In this study, the properties of carbon PEEK, such as tensile strength, modulus, density and strength-weight ratio, were studied. The results show that compared with traditional steels, carbon PEEK has high elastic modulus in orientation, strength, corrosion resistance, good fatigue and adhesion.

    creality-3d-printer-02Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) based polymer composites have controlled combinations of properties that can be achieved by 3D printing FFF (fused filament manufacturing) technology, making it possible to combine at least two different conventional materials. PEEK matrix materials play an important role in many fields because of their chemical-physical properties and light weight. In the automotive field, PEEK composites enable us to meet the requirements of strength and weight reduction. Polymer composites will not be corroded and used as coatings to create protective barriers.

    creality-3d-printer-03(a) Fiber orientation - 0 degrees; (b) Fiber orientation - 45 degrees; (c) Fiber

    orientation - 90 degrees

    Researchers use custom 3D printers to produce parts, chassis to prevent excessive vibration, and chrome-plated interior parts. The movable extruder head equipped with induction heater can accurately locate the nozzle on the fixed heating bed and keep it at 250 C. The surface of the machine printing platform is galvanized and heated to 100 C.

    In the analysis of the parts, the researchers also found that the carbon fibers of the blades could be stretched in the tensile test, which also proved the validity of "zero fiber orientation".

    Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) enable the development of analytical regression models capable of predicting flexural and bending stresses. These are validated by the finite element results obtained by using various combinations of design parameters. As for the validation of the prediction model, the results of finite element analysis and regression analysis show good consistency with FEA results. Future work will demonstrate dynamic analysis and leaf spring behavior under dynamic loads.


    (a) Standard specimens on ARGO machine tools: (b) 3-D printed CPEK specimens.


    (a) SEM micrographs at 200 um, (b) fibers at 45 degrees were evaluated by image fragment analysis.


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