Mechanical Surface Treatment of Polymer Parts Produced by FFF

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University of Texas at Austin


The surface structure in the form of waviness and roughness as well as near surface density of FFF parts represents a major issue with respect to mechanical performance especially under fatigue loading. Mechanical surface treatments like shot peening or rolling are commonly used techniques, especially for metal components, to reduce surface roughness, increase surface densification and create beneficial residual stress states in the surface layer. In this study, a rolling process has been applied intermittently with the layer-wise FFF process and the effect on the surface state has been investigated using laser scanning and optical microscopy as well as microcomputed tomography. A process window with different rolling tools and rolling paths has been identified and analysed. The results show clearly advantageous properties regarding an improved surface roughness, with a higher densification gradient in the first perimeter tracks of the FFF extrusion strategy as well as sharper corners being realized.


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