Page 20 - 3D Metal Printing Fall 2018
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 3D Material Testing
12 to 18 months or longer. Applications for space flight often have even more stringent requirements due to the extreme service conditions that parts must endure. One example: liq- uid-hydrogen fuel tanks that deliver the propulsion needed for launch vehicles. Metal alloys used in such applications must maintain mechanical performance under high loads and at tem- peratures ranging from -250 to -280 C.
Based in Garching, Germany, KRP Mechatec specializes in the development and analysis of materials and structures for the aerospace industry. KRP has established a test program to explore the potential of AM for construction of lightweight launch-vehicle parts. For this purpose, the company produces material samples aluminum and titanium-alloy AM parts. The company uses a Zwick AllroundLine Z250SW testing machine to conduct a variety of tests on the samples under nonambient conditions.
KRP’s testing requirements have resulted in the development of a special device that allows various tests ranging from tensile and compression to shear and hole expansion in a cryostat. In the cryostat, material samples are cooled to -196 C using liquid nitrogen, or to -269° C using liquid helium, and then tested.
“Zwick Roell provides us with the support we need to carry out our special test tasks,” explains Dr.-Ing. Christoph Zauner, technical manager at KRP Mechatec. “The testing machine and the software enable flexible use in the research and development environment.”
Software Propels User Success
“Flexibility and ease of use represent areas of importance for customers engaged in development work,” says Zwick’s Plach. “For example, our testXpert III testing software incorporates features that go beyond modern convenience to enhance accu- racy in measurement and help ensure reliable test results.”
To back up his claim, Plach describes Intelligent user man- agement in the testXpert III software that reduces the number of required operator inputs, revealing only the options and infor- mation important to each user. Administrators retain full access privileges and the opportunity to control access levels based on roles and training levels. The software also logs all test- and sys- tem-relevant actions and settings, preserving a record for man- agement review. This ensures that the traceable results cannot be manipulated.
Advanced testing software, along with the machines that employ it, is helping AM find applications across multiple industry sectors. In each application, one constant remains: the need to validate performance of produced parts and components. Thus, testing plays an essential role in AM, enabling quality manage- ment of raw materials through completed products. 3DMP
Article provided by Zwick USA, Kennesaw, GA; tel. 770/420- 6555,

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