Laser Sintering of PA12/PA4,6 Polymer Composites
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This work investigates the laser sintering (LS) processing of polyamide-12/polyamide-4,6 composites and the performance of resulting parts. The coalescence and consolidation of the PA12/PA4,6 powder mixture are characterized. This demonstrates that at the LS processing window for PA12 (grade PA2200), the powder mixture exhibits bimodal melting behavior. In this behavior PA2200 melts during LS processing but PA4,6 remains solid. After laser sintering of the materials, the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the resulting parts are characterized. This illustrates that the PA2200 coalesces well and PA4,6 remains as a secondary phase during the LS processing. Further developments to improve the powder size and morphology in order to obtain better relative density of the parts are necessary. The investigated processing approach opens up new perspectives for LS of advanced engineering thermoplastics.