Senior Design 2021 – Materials Science and Engineering Team 6
Louis Crisci Kienan Tierney
sponsored by Naval Undersea Warfare Center
3D Printed Materials and Processing for Seawater Applications
The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) is interested in characterizing the degradation of 3D printed polymers for applications in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The ability to print parts on demand is advantageous for prototyping and reducing spare part inventory which results in increased flexibility and cost savings. Samples will be exposed to a simulated seawater environment for 2 weeks, during which the mass change is monitored. Following the exposure samples will be subjected to tensile testing. The materials investigated include Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Formlabs' Grey Resin. ABS is a common thermoplastic used in fused deposition modeling (FDM). Grey Resin is a photopolymer that is cured by UV light during the stereolithography (SLA) printing process. The processing methods that will be investigated for ABS include acetone vapor polishing and coating the samples in hydrophobic Aerogel powder. SLA is being utilized due to the homogeneity of parts created with this process, therefore no further processing will be applied. The project seeks to find the material and processing method that will lead to minimal water ingression, while preserving the strength of the part.