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An experimental study into the effects of bulk and flow behaviour of laser sintering polymer powders on resulting part properties

Ziegelmeier, Stefan; Christou, Panagiotis; Wöllecke, Frank; Tuck, Christopher; Goodridge, Ruth D.; Hague, Richard J.M.; Krampe, Erhard; Wintermantel, Erich

Authors

Stefan Ziegelmeier st.ziegelmeier@gmail.com

Panagiotis Christou

Frank Wöllecke

Ruth D. Goodridge

Richard J.M. Hague

Erhard Krampe

Erich Wintermantel



Abstract

The properties of parts manufactured by laser sintering (LS) are, amongst others, influenced by the packing and flow efficiencies of the powders being processed.

In particular, this study investigated the influence of the bulk and flow characteristics of two thermoplastic elastomers, present in three different particle size distributions (PSD), on the resulting part properties. The powder characteristics examined, were the packing and bulk density as well as the flow efficiency of the powder samples. The resulting part properties were evaluated in terms of their mechanical properties (tensile), surface quality and density.

The results helped to validate the basic input from previous studies interconnecting the powder behaviour with the properties of sintered part's. The majority of the components with increased tensile properties were manufactured with powder fractions that showed enhanced bulk density and enriched flowability. The part's surface quality demonstrated a high dependence on the packing and the surface roughness of the raw powder bulk. A strong connection between the packing density of the powder bulk and the porosity of the sintered parts has been revealed for the observed polymers. In contrast to previous studies which have rarely taken into account the characteristics of the un-sintered powder and correlated them to the properties of components fabricated by LS, this work provided a novel approach describing the interconnection between the powder behaviour and the part properties.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 31, 2015
Journal Journal of Materials Processing Technology
Print ISSN 0924-0136
Electronic ISSN 0924-0136
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 215
APA6 Citation Ziegelmeier, S., Christou, P., Wöllecke, F., Tuck, C., Goodridge, R. D., Hague, R. J., …Wintermantel, E. (2015). An experimental study into the effects of bulk and flow behaviour of laser sintering polymer powders on resulting part properties. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 215, doi:10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2014.07.029
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2014.07.029
Keywords Bulk and flow behaviour, Powder processing, Laser Sintering, Part properties, Thermoplastic elastomers
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2014.07.029
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