Processing and Characterizations of Eucalyptus-PA12 Composite by Laser Sintering

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Jiang, Kaiyi
Guo, Yanling
Bourell, David L.

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University of Texas at Austin


To meet the existing requirements to make Laser Sintering (LS) technology more economical and environmentally friendly, a new type of low cost sustainable material (eucalyptus-polyamide 12 (EPA12) composite) was developed. This paper presents initial research into the LS PA12 with wood powder additions. EPA12 mixed in a ratio of 1:2 by volume has been shown to be extremely processable by LS. Before sintering experiments, thermal conductivity (which is an important component in understanding and optimizing the processing of laser sintering EPA 12) was measured. During LS processing, a variety of laser powers were chosen to investigate the effect of the energy input on the densification, mechanical properties and forming accuracy of the material. The dispersion of eucalyptus in the LS specimens of the composite powder was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The microstructure of sintered EPA12 was observed. By comparing the microstructures, observable differences based on varying levels of laser power were also present. The maximum tensile strength and the flexure strength of prototypes are 3.7 MPa and 38 MPa, respectively. These values increased from the minimum with increased energy input. On the contrary, the forming accuracy was high at a relatively low laser power.


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