PROCESS AND MATERIAL OPTIMISATIONS FOR INTEGRATION OF CHOPPED GLASS FIBRES IN LASER SINTERED POLYMER PARTS

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Date

2023

Authors

De Coninck, H.
Dejans, A.
Meyers, S.
Buls, S.
Kinds, Y.
Soete, J.
Van Puyvelde, P.
Van Hooreweder, B.

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University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

Additively manufactured polymer composites gain popularity in a variety of industries such as aerospace, biomedical and automotive. Laser sintering (LS) is a well-known AM process that typically uses polyamide which can serve as matrix material. Hence LS has the potential to produce reinforced polymers that can meet demanding requirements. In previous research, issues with powder flowability and poor fibre dispersion led to limited increase of mechanical properties. To overcome this, a novel fibre deposition system was recently developed and optimised at KU Leuven to successfully produce fibre reinforced LS samples with random inter- and intralayer fibre orientations. A limited but promising influence of deposited glass fibres on produced LS parts was noted after mechanical testing. In this work, the influence of different (heat) treatments on glass fibres used during LS will be discussed as well as the resulting differences in the fibre/matrix behaviour as analysed through hot stage microscopy.

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