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Mechanical characterisation of PA‐Al2O3 composites obtained by selective laser sintering

G. Berti (Department of Management and Engineering (DTG), University of Padova, Vicenza, Italy)
L. D'Angelo (Department of Engineering (ENDIF), University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy)
A. Gatto (Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio, Modena, Italy)
L. Iuliano (Department of Manufacturing Systems and Economics, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 9 March 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a deep characterization of PA‐Al2O3 composite for selective laser sintering (SLS). Tension test is used to determine main mechanical characteristics of the material, both at room temperature and at 100°C. An accurate knowledge of the parts' performances as a function of the building orientation, is fundamental to understand the manufacturing anisotropy. Particular attention is dedicated to the joining and failure micromechanisms ruling the macroscopic characteristics, on the basis of the knowledge developed by the authors on SLS of both metal and polymeric powders.

Design/methodology/approach

Specimens have been built with different orientations in regard to powder deposition plane and laser path. Tension test is used to determine main mechanical characteristics of the material, both at room temperature and at 100°C. A particular attention is dedicated to the joining and failure micromechanisms ruling the macroscopic characteristics of the composite material by means of optical and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations.

Findings

The sintered material shows an evident anisotropy in the growth direction (z‐axis), as well as it seems to be not sensitive to the sintering direction at room temperature (x, y, xy). At 100°C the effect of sintering direction becomes more evident and a different behaviour results considering x‐ and y‐direction, respectively. Accurate SEM characterization has been carried out to understand the effect of the manufacturing anisotropy on the mechanical performances, both in terms of additive construction and laser sintering strategy. The observation of the rupture surfaces showed that cracks originate from the external surface and propagate initially by the ductile failure of the polymeric matrix, up to the sudden fracture of the whole section.

Originality/value

Previous studies concerning polyamide charged parts confirm the importance of fabrication parameters and geometry on the final performances, due to anisotropic heat supply and transfer phenomena. The originality of the paper is in the investigation on both at room temperature and at 100°C. Moreover, a model is proposed where it is hypothesized that the layer‐by‐layer construction is only marginally responsible of the anisotropic behaviour of the material.

Keywords

Citation

Berti, G., D'Angelo, L., Gatto, A. and Iuliano, L. (2010), "Mechanical characterisation of PA‐Al2O3 composites obtained by selective laser sintering", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 124-129. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552541011025843

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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