The mechanical and photoelastic properties of 3D printable stress-visualized materials

Li Wang, Yang Ju, Heping Xie, Guowei Ma, Lingtao Mao, Kexin He

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology integrating frozen stress techniques has created a novel way to directly represent and characterize 3D interior discontinuities and the full-field stress induced by mining- or construction-related disturbances of deeply buried rock masses. However, concerns have been raised about the similitude between the mechanical behaviours of the printed model and its prototype rock mass. Ensuring the mechanical properties of the printable materials are as close as possible to those of real rock mass is of critical significance. In this work, a transparent, light, photosensitive polymer material was investigated for applications in frozen stress tests. The chemical composition of the material was determined by integrating the results of infrared spectroscopy (IR spectroscopy), X-ray diffraction (XRD), pyrolysis, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (PY-GC/MS). Measures to improve the mechanical properties of the printable material, including printing orientation, post-processing, and temperature control, were evaluated by comparing the treated material with its prototype rock. The optical stress sensitivity of the material, including stress-visualized properties and stress-frozen performance, was also tested. This study offers an understanding of how printable materials should be modified to better simulate real rock masses, in terms of not only their geological geometry but also their mechanical performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number10918
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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