Powder ageing and material properties of laser sintered polyamide 12 using low refresh rates
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Powder ageing effects due to thermal load usually lead to a limited recyclability of unmolten polyamide 12 powders in the laser sintering process. In this work, the recycling optimized material PA 2221 is analyzed regarding its ageing behavior along a series of more than ten build/refresh cycles using a refresh ratio of about 30%. Thereby, the melt viscosity is measured before and after every cycle and the “steady-state” condition is determined accordingly. In addition, the material properties of parts manufactured with PA 2221 are discussed dependent on different process parameters and compared to parts made of standard PA 2200 material with a refresh rate of about 50%. These parameters include the mechanical properties as well as for example the impact strength and geometrical properties as function of layer thickness and testing temperature. As a result, the optimal process conditions and achievable material properties for PA 2221 can be derived from this work.
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