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Open AccessArticle

Material Evaluation and Process Optimization of CNT-Coated Polymer Powders for Selective Laser Sintering

1
Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798 Singapore, Singapore
2
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, 638075 Singapore, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Georg von Freymann
Polymers 2016, 8(10), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8100370
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 24 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 October 2016 / Published: 19 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Three-Dimensional Structures: Fabrication and Application)
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as nano-reinforcements were introduced to facilitate the laser sintering process and enhance the thermal and mechanical properties of polymeric composites. A dual experimental-theoretical method was proposed to evaluate the processability and predict the process parameters of newly developed CNT-coated polyamide 12 (CNTs/PA12) powders. The thermal conductivity, melt viscosity, phase transition and temperature-dependent density and heat capacity of PA12 and CNTs/PA12 powders were characterized for material evaluation. The composite powders exhibited improved heat conduction and heat absorption compared with virgin polymer powders, and the stable sintering range of composite powders was extended and found to be favourable for the sintering process. The microstructures of sintered composites revealed that the CNTs remained at the powder boundaries and formed network architectures, which instantaneously induced the significant enhancements in tensile strength, elongation at break and toughness without sacrificing tensile modulus. View Full-Text
Keywords: selective laser sintering; carbon nanotubes-reinforced nanocomposite; polyamide 12; additive manufacturing; 3D printing selective laser sintering; carbon nanotubes-reinforced nanocomposite; polyamide 12; additive manufacturing; 3D printing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuan, S.; Bai, J.; Chua, C.K.; Wei, J.; Zhou, K. Material Evaluation and Process Optimization of CNT-Coated Polymer Powders for Selective Laser Sintering. Polymers 2016, 8, 370.

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