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Journal cover: Rapid Prototyping Journal

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Online from: 1995

Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering

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Study of the inter-particle necks in selective laser sintering

Document Information:
Title:Study of the inter-particle necks in selective laser sintering
Author(s):Jamasp Jhabvala, (Laboratoire de Gestion et Procédés de Production, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland), Eric Boillat, (Laboratoire de Gestion et Procédés de Production, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland), Rémy Glardon, (Laboratoire de Gestion et Procédés de Production, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland)
Citation:Jamasp Jhabvala, Eric Boillat, Rémy Glardon, (2013) "Study of the inter-particle necks in selective laser sintering", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 19 Iss: 2, pp.111 - 117
Keywords:Inter-particle necks, Lasers, Selective laser sintering, Simulation, Sintering, Titanium
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13552541311302969 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors would like to thank Mélanie Dafflon and Benoit Lorent at LSRO2 (EPFL) for their important involvement in the Delta3 robot experiments. They are also thankful to the Interdisciplinary Centre for Electron Microscopy (EPFL) for providing access to electron microscopes.

Purpose – Since pulsed lasers are mainly used in selective laser sintering (SLS) – contrarily to selective laser melting (SLM) – only the exterior of the powder particles is molten while their core stays solid. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the binding mechanism between two particles of titanium powder.

Design/methodology/approach – A dedicated experimental setup is used to isolate the particles. They are then irradiated by the laser. SEM micrographs are taken at each step and image analysis is performed. The obtained results are compared with the predictions of a thermal model allowing for the incorporation of the latent heat of fusion and for a realistic surrounding. The absorbed laser intensity is modeled by means of the Mie theory.

Findings – The growing of the interparticular necks and the volume of liquid formed for different repetition rates are measured and compared with numerical simulations. A good agreement is found. A new method to easily find the absorption coefficient of the laser into the grain and the heat exchange coefficient with the exterior is developed.

Originality/value – This paper leads to a better understanding of the necking phenomena involved in the SLS consolidation process. An experimental set-up has been developed to observe and quantify the final state of a small amount of laser sintered grains. This process has been shown to be replicable and trustful. The thermal model leads to good predictions of the particle final sintering state.

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