Effects of Cu and SiO2 on Laser Sintering of Polycarbonate 110

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Fan, K.M.
Cheung, W.L.

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Additives of different thermal properties, Cu and SiO2 (amorphous and crystalline), were blended to polycarbonate (PC) powder to modify its heat transfer properties and fusion behavior during laser sintering. The blends were sintered under different energy densities of the laser beam to produce mono-layer films. The surface morphology and the thickness of the films were studied. When sintering under the same condition, the composite films which contained a high content of Cu powder exhibited a more porous surface structure. This was caused by the increased heat loss because the Cu powder has a higher thermal conductivity. Also, the solid Cu particles would hinder the flow of the molten polymer, resulting in a low degree of fusion. For a given Cu powder content, reducing its particle size gave a more porous surface structure and a smaller thickness of the sintered films. This was probably due to a more even distribution of the fine Cu particles, which increased the heat loss and reduced the effective amount of energy for fusion. On the other hand, fine SiO2 and quartz powders caused degradation of the polymer because of the increased energy dissipation near the film surface and poor heat transfer properties of the additives comparing with Cu.



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