Advances in SLS Powder Characterization

Amado, A.
Schmid, M.
Levy, G.
Wegener, K.
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University of Texas at Austin

This paper introduces a new Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) powder characterization methodology. A better understanding regarding powder flow processing range is targeted. Intrinsic properties of polymers are given from the basic chemical structure and non-intrinsic ones describe characteristics caused from pre-processing and production. The non-intrinsic ones are dedicated to the powder. Understanding the particle size distribution and shape coupled with its ability to flow under the particular SLS processing conditions is desired. In this direction, a system called Revolution Powder Analyzer is employed and the dynamic powder behavior is characterized in nearly roll spreading conditions. This allows a sensitive differentiation of powders regarding their flow-ability and predicts, to a certain extent, the behavior under SLS conditions.