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Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1293; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121293

Additive Manufacturing of Polypropylene: A Screening Design of Experiment Using Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion

1
Department of Materials and Production, Section of Sustainable Production, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, Copenhagen 2450, Denmark
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo 11000, Finland
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Örebro University, Örebro 70182, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
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Abstract

The use of commodity polymers such as polypropylene (PP) is key to open new market segments and applications for the additive manufacturing industry. Technologies such as powder-bed fusion (PBF) can process PP powder; however, much is still to learn concerning process parameters for reliable manufacturing. This study focusses in the process–property relationships of PP using laser-based PBF. The research presents an overview of the intrinsic and the extrinsic characteristic of a commercial PP powder as well as fabrication of tensile specimens with varying process parameters to characterize tensile, elongation at break, and porosity properties. The impact of key process parameters, such as power and scanning speed, are systematically modified in a controlled design of experiment. The results were compared to the existing body of knowledge; the outcome is to present a process window and optimal process parameters for industrial use of PP. The computer tomography data revealed a highly porous structure inside specimens ranging between 8.46% and 10.08%, with porosity concentrated in the interlayer planes in the build direction. The results of the design of experiment for this commercial material show a narrow window of 0.122 ≥ Ev ≥ 0.138 J/mm3 led to increased mechanical properties while maintaining geometrical stability. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; powder-bed fusion; laser sintering; polypropylene; process parameter optimization; mechanical properties; computer tomography additive manufacturing; powder-bed fusion; laser sintering; polypropylene; process parameter optimization; mechanical properties; computer tomography
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Flores Ituarte, I.; Wiikinkoski, O.; Jansson, A. Additive Manufacturing of Polypropylene: A Screening Design of Experiment Using Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion. Polymers 2018, 10, 1293.

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