Stretch blow moulding (SBM) has been employed to manufacture bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) from poly (l-lactic acid) (PLLA), whilst an experience-based method is used to develop the suitable processing conditions by trial-and-error. FEA modelling can be used to predict the forming process by the scientific understanding on the mechanical behaviour of PLLA materials above the glass transition temperature (Tg). The applicability of a constitutive model, the ‘glass-rubber’ (GR) model with material parameters from biaxial stretch was examined on PLLA sheets replicating the biaxial strain history of PLLA tubes during stretch blow moulding. The different stress–strain relationship of tubes and sheets under equivalent deformation suggested the need of re-calibration of the GR model for tubes. A FEA model was developed for PLLA tubes under different operation conditions, incorporating a virtual cap and rod to capture the suppression of axial stretch. The reliability of the FEA modelling on tube blowing was validated by comparing the shape evolution, strain history and stress–strain relationship from modelling to the results from the free stretch blow test.
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Funding: This research was funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 691238.
- Biaxial stretch
- Free stretch blow
- Glass-rubber model