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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Influence of the Origin of Polyamide 12 Powder on the Laser Sintering Process and Laser Sintered Parts

1
Inspire, Innovation Center for Additive Manufacturing (icams), Lerchenfeldstrasse 3, St. Gallen 9014, Switzerland
2
Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, Swiss Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Tannenstrasse 3, Zürich 8093, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter Van Puyvelde
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(5), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7050462
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for 3D Printing)
Different features of polymer powders influence the process of laser sintering (LS) and the properties of LS-parts to a great extent. This study investigates important aspects of the “powder/process/part”-property relationships by comparing two polyamide 12 (PA12) powders commercially available for LS, with pronounced powder characteristic differences (Duraform® PA and Orgasol® Invent Smooth). Due to the fact that the primary influence factor on polymer behaviour, the chemical structure of the polymer chain, is identical in this case, the impacts resulting from powder distribution, particle shape, thermal behaviour, and crystalline and molecular structure, can be studied in detail. It was shown that although both systems are PA12, completely different processing conditions must be applied to accomplish high-resolution parts. The reason for this was discovered by the different thermal behaviour based on the powder production and the resulting crystalline structure. Moreover, the parts built from Orgasol® Invent Smooth unveil mechanical properties with pronounced anisotropy, caused from the high melt viscosity and termination of polymer chains. Further differences are seen in relation to the powder characteristics and other significant correlations could be revealed. For example, the study demonstrated how the particle morphology and shape impact the surface roughness of the parts. View Full-Text
Keywords: laser sintering (LS); polyamide 12; LS-process; LS-part properties laser sintering (LS); polyamide 12; LS-process; LS-part properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmid, M.; Kleijnen, R.; Vetterli, M.; Wegener, K. Influence of the Origin of Polyamide 12 Powder on the Laser Sintering Process and Laser Sintered Parts. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 462.

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