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Surface methods for monitoring the densification of parts in the selective laser sintering process

Grazielle de Oliveira Setti (Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Jorge Vicente Lopes da Silva (Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Marcelo Fernandes de Oliveira (Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Izaque Alves Maia (Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Dosil Pereira de Jesus (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Raluca Savu (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Thebano Emilio de Almeida Santos (Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Rita de Cássia Zacardi de Souza (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Ednan Joanni (Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 11 March 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize polyamide parts prepared by the SLS process using techniques that are dependent on surface properties and compare the results to density measurements in order to assess which technique better reflects the degree of densification achieved using different laser power levels.

Design/methodology/approach

Fabrication of Nylon 12 (Duraform PA) samples and their characterization by apparent density measurements, perfilometry, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, specific surface area and contact angle measurements.

Findings

Methods dependent on surface analysis are not suitable indicators of the degree of sample densification. Among the surface methods, the results from Raman spectroscopy are the ones with the best performance. Incipient sintering of the superficial layers and raw material powder on the surface, inherent to the parts made by the SLS process, strongly interfere with the characterization.

Originality/value

Quantitative comparison of a number of surface probing methods for monitoring densification of SLS parts. Characterization of sample surfaces with and without raw material powder.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank CNPq for the financial support, LME/LNNano/CNPEM for the technical support during the electron microscopy work and Dr Ronei Jesus Poppi for allowing access to the Raman Spectrometer.

Citation

de Oliveira Setti, G., Vicente Lopes da Silva, J., Fernandes de Oliveira, M., Alves Maia, I., Pereira de Jesus, D., Savu, R., Emilio de Almeida Santos, T., de Cássia Zacardi de Souza, R. and Joanni, E. (2014), "Surface methods for monitoring the densification of parts in the selective laser sintering process", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 157-163. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-05-2012-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited