Plastometrex’s PIP technology to streamline Renishaw’s AM testing workflow

UK-based mechanical testing solutions provider Plastometrex and global engineering company Renishaw have partnered to improve mechanical testing capabilities in the additive manufacturing (AM) sector.

At the core of this partnership lies the integration of Plastometrex’s proprietary PIP (Profilometry-based Indentation Plastometry) technology into Renishaw’s testing processes, aiming to elevate precision and efficiency in the analysis of mechanical properties. Benjamin Haigh, Materials Scientist at Renishaw, said, “We can now use cubes built for product development for additional testing, saving us time and money. Additionally, the PLX-Benchtop can generate mechanical data for a wider range of parameters.”

Plastometrex's PIP technology. Image via Plastometrex.
Plastometrex’s PIP technology. Image via Plastometrex.

Efficient and precise mechanical testing for AM parts

According to the company, tensile testing presents significant challenges. These stem from the considerable time and material required for producing tensile coupons, leading to project delays and budget constraints. Additionally, relying on separately printed tensile coupons, may not accurately represent the mechanical properties of complex 3D printed parts. This raises concerns about the reliability of the testing data obtained.

By integrating Plastometrex’s PIP, Renishaw will be able to tackle these challenges head-on with the PLX-Benchtop facilitating swift and direct testing on different sections of AM parts. This results in the generation of comprehensive stress-strain curves within minutes. Such an approach enables a more precise evaluation of mechanical properties, seamlessly complementing Renishaw’s current testing methodologies.

The PLX-Benchtop enables Renishaw to conduct direct testing on AM parts, leading to a deeper comprehension of mechanical properties while simplifying the testing workflow. Renishaw benefits from the automated process, as it typically completes tests in less than five minutes with minimal sample preparation, thereby enhancing efficiency. Additionally, by eliminating the need for separate coupons and associated material and machining costs, Renishaw anticipates notable savings in mechanical testing expenses.

Jed Robinson-Wall, Materials Science graduate, added, “PIP technology is a fantastic complement to our existing mechanical testing regime. It gives us even greater insight into the quality of parts produced on our RenAM 500 series of metal additive manufacturing systems.”

Renishaw and Plastometrex team Photo via Plastometrex.
Renishaw and Plastometrex team Photo via Plastometrex.

Renishaw fosters innovation through strategic AM partnerships

Through its partnerships, Renishaw has helped streamline the manufacturing processes in various sectors. For instance, KOSO Kent Introl (Kent Introl) partnered with Renishaw to explore how AM technology advances the oil & gas sector. By installing Renishaw’s RenAM 500Q Flex system in West Yorkshire, Kent Introl became the first UK oil and gas valve parts manufacturer to adopt AM technology. 

RenAM 500Q Flex employs laser powder bed fusion, offering engineers reduced build time and increased productivity. Kent Introl aims to meet industry demands for new solutions, energy efficiency, and carbon emission reduction, exploring AM’s potential in part design optimization and on-demand services.

Elsewhere, Renishaw supplied its RenAM 500Q AM system to Domin, a fluid power systems manufacturer for developing highly competitive servo-proportional hydraulic valves using 3D printing. Domin sought environmental sustainability, targeting a one gigatonne CO2e emissions reduction by 2030. Utilizing Metal AM, Domin aimed to design complex structures with high efficiency and reduced waste, combining additive manufacturing with modern technologies to create innovative hydraulic valves.

Marcus Pont, CEO of Domin, outlined the company’s goal to design improved, sustainable servo valves at a lower cost. He explained Renishaw’s novel AM system will enhance capacity, maintain fast production, and deliver high-quality products to meet growing demand.

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Featured image shows Renishaw and Plastometrex team Photo via Plastometrex.