A Computational and Experimental Investigation into Mechanical Characterizations of Strut-Based Lattice Structures
Strut-based lattices are widely used in structural components for reducing weight. Additive manufacturing has provided a unique opportunity to fabricate such complex geometries. In addition to the unit cell type, the strut size and shape can significantly affect the mechanical properties achieved. Therefore, furnishing a lattice structure library may help in selecting the appropriate combination of lattice types and dimensions for targeted mechanical performance for a specific application. This study presents a method for determination of mechanical properties, including strength and stiffness, for lattice structures. Finite element (FE) simulations are used as the main tool and the results of which are to be verified by mechanical testing of samples fabricated using the laser beam powder bed fusion (LB-PBF) process. Proper lattices with the stiffness matched with associated bone were determined. However, the result indicated that lattices made from 316L SS are not strong enough for bone implants. The proposed procedure can be used for other unit cells of interest due to its generality.