Process optimisation of PA11 in fiber-laser powder-bed fusion through loading of an optical absorber

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2022

Authors

Leslie Budden, Christian
Lalwani, Aakil Raj
Meinert, Kenneth Ælkær
Daugaard, Anders Egede
Pedersen, David Bue

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Abstract

Industrial laser processing is rapidly shifting towards fiber lasers with wavelengths between 780nm and 2200nm. This can be largely contributed to the excellent beam properties and, ease of operation. However, for Additive Manufacturing of polymers, CO2 lasers at wavelengths of 10,6µm are pre- dominantly used. CO2 lasers provide unmatched energy absorption by the C-H bonds of Polyamide (PA). To remedy this, the current study investigates using a high-power fiber laser (1080nm) for consolidating PA11 mixed with a black optical absorber. Several compositions are produced by mixing commercially available white and black powder. Aiming at finding the optimum optical absorber loading and the corresponding process parameters, allowing the highest possible compo- nent fidelity, while achieving the lightest hue of grey possible to allow for later colouring. The experiment is conducted on an in-house developed Open Architecture Laser Powder-Bed Fusion system. The parts are examined through, surface roughness, and mechanical characterisation.

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