Manufacturing of Nanoparticle-Filled PA11 Composite Particles for Selective Laser Sintering

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Dechet, Maximilian A.
Lanzl, Lydia
Wilden, Alisa
Sattes, Maria-Melanie
Drummer, Dietmar
Peukert, Wolfgang
Schmidt, Jochen

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University of Texas at Austin


Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an Additive Manufacturing (AM) process that yields excellent part qualities with good mechanical properties. The SLS process employs micron-sized polymer particles, which are selectively fused by a laser. While there seem to be hardly any boundaries regarding design, there are quite some restrictions concerning the variety of commercially available SLS materials. With a market share of roughly 90%, polyamide 12 (PA12) is currently the most widely used polymer material for SLS. Concerning particle or fiber enhanced materials, only dry blended, but hardly any composite materials are available. In this contribution, the manufacturing of nanoparticulate alumina-, titania- and silica-filled polyamide 11 (PA11) particles is demonstrated. The particles are manufactured via liquid-liquid phase separation and precipitation (also known as solution-dissolution process) from ethanol dispersions. Bulk polymer material of PA11 is directly converted to composite microparticles in a one-pot approach. The produced particles are characterized regarding their size and morphology. The amount of nanoparticles in the bulk is assessed via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Furthermore, the effect of the nanoparticles as nucleating agents is investigated via DSC and correlated with surface energies as determined by inverse gas chromatography (IGC).


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