Polymers in Additive Manufacturing: the Case of a Water Pump Impeller
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Belgrade University
This research aimed at evaluating which of the polymers commonly used for rapid prototyping in the process of additive manufacturing can also meet the functional requirements in the preparation of final parts. In particular, the investigation was focused on a water pump impeller as a practical case study. A comparison between mechanical properties was proposed for this scope. ABSplus, ABS and PLA polymers were considered. Materials were tested in tensile and bending conditions. Results showed that ABSplus and ABS polymers satisfy all the mechanical requirements, while PLA fails. Then, the impellers were built-in and tested. All functional requirements, together with the necessary stability were verified. In this way, it was proved that, by selecting a suitable polymer, additive manufacturing can be successfully used to produce complex final elements, thus leading to extremely fast production, high accuracy and precision and even lower costs compared to other conventional technologies.
mechanical properties, polymers: ABS, PLA, additive manufacturing, material extrusion, impeller