Measurement of the structural behaviour of a 3D airless wheel prototype by means of optical non-contact techniques

Antonino Quattrocchi, Antonino Quattrocchi, Damiano Alizzio, Lorenzo Capponi, Tommaso Tocci, Roberto Marsili, Gianluca Rossi, Simone Pasinetti, Paolo Chiariotti, Alessandro Annessi, Paolo Castellini, Milena Martarelli, Fabrizio Freni, Annamaria Di Giacomo, Roberto Montanini


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is becoming a widely employed technique also in mass production. In this field, compliances with geometry and mechanical performance standards represent a crucial constrain. Since 3D printed products exhibit a mechanical behaviour that is difficult to predict and investigate due to the complex shape and the inaccuracy in reproducing nominal sizes, optical non-contact techniques are an appropriate candidate to solve these issues. In this paper, 2D digital image correlation and thermoelastic stress analysis are combined to map the stress and the strain performance of an airless wheel prototype. The innovative airless wheel samples are 3D-printed by fused deposition modelling and stereolithography in poly-lactic acid and photopolymer resin, respectively. The static mechanical behaviour for different wheel-ground contact configurations is analysed using the aforementioned non-contact techniques. Moreover, the wheel-ground contact pressure is mapped, and a parametric finite element model is developed. The results presented in the paper demonstrate that several factors have great influence on 3D printed airless wheels: a) the type of material used for manufacturing the specimen; b) the correct transfer of the force line (i.e., the loading system); c) the geometric complexity of the lattice structure of the airless wheel. The work confirms the effectiveness of the proposed non-contact measurement procedures for characterizing complex shaped prototypes manufactured using AM.

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