Ats’ fatigue testing capabilities are on the forefront of analyzing additive manufacturing products by serving clients that depend on this growing industry.

Additive Manufacturing: New Industry, New Considerations

As additive manufacturing becomes increasingly practical, companies in several industries — ranging from medical to aerospace — have either adopted it as an alternative method of production or adapted to accommodate its influence. Products and components yielded through this newer process need to be analyzed for mechanical properties and performance characteristics just as components created through more conventional means like injection molding do. Despite this fact, many testing labs are not yet analyzing these subjects.

In response to the growing requirements for comprehensive analysis of components and products made through additive manufacturing, Applied Technical Services has expanded its testing capabilities to meet the needs of this new and advancing industry. By testing material samples to a range of criteria, we can determine their various mechanical properties. One such important performance factor is a material’s resistance to fatigue, which we discover using specialized fatigue testing equipment.

Mechanical Fatigue and Additive Manufacturing

Material fatigue is a type of progressive mechanical failure mechanism that occurs when accumulated stress from repeated loading and unloading causes a microscopic crack to form, expand, and ultimately lead to complete fracture. ATS’ mechanical testing lab analyzes the fatigue resistance of clients’ sample materials in much the same way — we repeatedly load and unload the material for a predetermined number of cycles (or until the sample fractures). The type and magnitude of the load applied will vary as appropriate to differing test standards and intended product usage.

It is especially important to determine the mechanical performance characteristics of materials produced through additive manufacturing because these products tend to display different properties than those made through more conventional methods like metal casting.

Unlike subtractive manufacturing — which removes excess material to produce the final product — additive manufacturing is achieved by adding layer on top of layer of material to form the desired shape. Because the bond between these layers is generally weaker than the solid matrix created by casting, pieces made through additive manufacturing often exhibit lower tensile strength and shear strength.

Manufacturers must consider these factors while designing the product and determine whether materials produced through additive manufacturing will be appropriate for the intended use of the product. A component made using this method will be comparatively susceptible to fatigue failure due to cyclic tension stresses, for instance.

Testing Capabilities

ATS helps clients by determining materials’ resistance to fatigue using our broad fatigue testing capabilities. The mechanical testing lab has been outfitted with a host of servo-hydraulic fatigue testers. Access to this range of equipment allows technicians to apply a load to a sample material at any magnitude from 2lbs to 55kip while exposing it to temperatures anywhere from ambient to 1,000°C.

We perform fatigue testing to the following standards, as well as client-specific requests:

Standard Description
Cyclical, uniaxial tension-compression stress
Cyclical, axial tension-compression stress
ASTM E1820
Tension or three-point-bending stress on pre-cracked sample to observe how crack propagates, ISO 17025 (A2LA) Accredited
ASTM E1290
Tension stress on pre-cracked sample to observe how crack propagates, ISO 17025 (A2LA) Accredited
Tension or three-point-bending stress on notched sample, ISO 17025 (A2LA) Accredited
About Applied Technical Services

Since 1967, ATS has worked tirelessly to deliver testing, inspection, and engineering consulting services of outstanding quality. In the 50+ years since our founding, we have extended our customer base across the world and a wide range of industries. The fields of business that may see the greatest benefit from our capacity for testing additive manufactured products include:

And, predictably:

ATS and Quality Assurance

ATS holds quality as the highest ideal in our business practices; we strive to consistently improve our customers’ experience for this reason. We pursue this goal by following our ISO 9001 certified quality management system.

ATS’ accreditation status means a third-party auditor has affirmed that our QMS follows the guidelines set in the internationally recognized standard set for quality assurance practices. By observing these principles of excellence, we ensure that our clients enjoy accurate and detailed reporting, completed by accessible and responsive technicians, all delivered within a short turnaround window.

If your company needs to determine the fatigue characteristics of a product or component made through additive manufacturing, send your sample to ATS — We take a closer look!

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