In a time where rapid prototyping successively transforms to additive manufacturing (AM), nylon 11 and 12 and their composite powders, which have evolved to be the most commonly used materials in laser sintering (LS) due to their easy process ability, cannot fulfill all challenging requirements of industrial applications anymore.
Especially in the aerospace industry, there is a high demand for stiff and lightweight parts for interiors, which currently are fabricated from glass-fiber-reinforced phenolic and epoxy resins by a lamination process. Due to the strong diversity of the parts, this traditional manufacturing is quite labor intensive and expensive, which makes it very attractive to manufacture these parts with additive manufacturing, especially laser sintering.
Additional part design requirements, such as greater chemical and UV resistance, an elevated softening temperature, higher mechanical strength and better performance in flammability and heat release tests generate opportunities for the use of high-performance AM polymers. Promising candidates that have the potential of satisfying these demands can be found among the different polyaryletherketone thermoplastics.
This session presents the development of a carbon-fiber-filled PEKK composite material for laser sintering, optimized especially for the production of interiors, such as air ducts for cabin ventilation in aerospace applications.