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Open AccessArticle

Processing of Polysulfone to Free Flowing Powder by Mechanical Milling and Spray Drying Techniques for Use in Selective Laser Sintering

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Center for Polymer and Material Technologies (CPMT), Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark building 915, Zwijnaarde 9052, Belgium
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INdustrial Catalysis and Adsorption Technology (INCAT), Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Theo A. Tervoort
Polymers 2016, 8(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8040150
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Polysulfone (PSU) has been processed into powder form by ball milling, rotor milling, and spray drying technique in an attempt to produce new materials for Selective Laser Sintering purposes. Both rotor milling and spray drying were adept to make spherical particles that can be used for this aim. Processing PSU pellets by rotor milling in a three-step process resulted in particles of 51.8 μm mean diameter, whereas spray drying could only manage a mean diameter of 26.1 μm. The resulting powders were characterized using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) and X-ray Diffraction measurements (XRD). DSC measurements revealed an influence of all processing techniques on the thermal behavior of the material. Glass transitions remained unaffected by spray drying and rotor milling, yet a clear shift was observed for ball milling, along with a large endothermic peak in the high temperature region. This was ascribed to the imparting of an orientation into the polymer chains due to the processing method and was confirmed by XRD measurements. Of all processed powder samples, the ball milled sample was unable to dissolve for GPC measurements, suggesting degradation by chain scission and subsequent crosslinking. Spray drying and rotor milling did not cause significant degradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: polysulfone; microsphere; rotor milling; spray drying; ball milling; polymer characterization polysulfone; microsphere; rotor milling; spray drying; ball milling; polymer characterization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mys, N.; Van De Sande, R.; Verberckmoes, A.; Cardon, L. Processing of Polysulfone to Free Flowing Powder by Mechanical Milling and Spray Drying Techniques for Use in Selective Laser Sintering. Polymers 2016, 8, 150.

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