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An Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Gamma Radiation on 3D Printed ABS for In-Space Manufacturing Purposes

[+] Author Affiliations
Behzad Rankouhi, Fereidoon Delfanian, Robert McTaggart, Todd Letcher

South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Paper No. IMECE2016-67745, pp. V001T03A042; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2016-67745
From:
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5051-0
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME

abstract

The following work is presented as a preliminary study on the effects of gamma irradiation on mechanical properties of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) as an in-space 3D printing feedstock to investigate the forthcoming possibilities of this technology for future space exploration missions. 3D printed testing samples were irradiated at different dosages from 1 to 1400 kGy (1 Gray (Gy) = 1 J/kg = 100 rad) using a Cobalt-60 gamma irradiator to simulate space radiation environment. Testing samples were manufactured using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) with a Makerbot Replicator 2x 3D printer. The correlation between the mechanical properties of irradiated samples and accumulated radiation dosage were evaluated by a series of tensile and flexural tests. Furthermore, Shore hardness tests were conducted to evaluate changes in surface hardness of irradiated parts. Finally, results were compared with a control group of samples. Findings showed a significant decrease in mechanical performance and noticeable changes in appearance of the parts with accumulated dosage of 1000 kGy and higher. However, for dosages below 10 kGy, samples showed no significant decrease in mechanical performance or change in appearance. These results were used to predict the life of a 3D printed part on board the International Space Station (ISS), on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, in deep space and long duration missions.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME

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