Table of Contents
Journal of Powder Technology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4101089, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4101089
Research Article

New Materials for SLS: The Use of Antistatic and Flow Agents

Institute of Polymer Technology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Am Weichselgarten 9, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

Received 15 March 2016; Revised 10 May 2016; Accepted 17 May 2016

Academic Editor: Wei Hsing Tuan

Copyright © 2016 Matthias Michael Lexow and Dietmar Drummer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Selective laser sintering (SLS) is a process based on the principle of a locally confined energy input by a laser into a powder bed, producing highly complex parts without the use of moulds or any other tools. In order to ensure good results for the processing behaviour of a new material, the powder must perform well during the phase of feeding the material into the process chamber which majorly influences the quality of the spread of the powder into the part bed and thus the mechanical performance of the final parts. In the present study, the principle of modification of fine powders with flow agents is applied aiming to enable the use of powders for SLS which are otherwise unsuitable due to poor flowability. In addition, the influence of antistatic agent on the powder flow and processing behaviour is discussed. The additives are found to strongly improve the flow behaviour at already very small contents and thus allow for processing of the composite material. The development of determining factors shares insight into the mechanisms of dry particle coating and its implementation into a growing market of material development.