Synonyms and Working Principle
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is a technology quite similar to Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF), but instead of metal, plastic materials build the basis to create parts. Like L-PBF, SLS uses a powder bed and the process of fusing the parts together layer by layer to create highly accurate parts. One major difference to L-PBF is that in SLS, the powder is heated just below its melting temperature and the thermal energy of the laser is solely used to deliver the residual energy to melt the part.
Advantages of SLS
Powder Bed technologies can realize highly complex parts. Due to the usage of a laser in Selective Laser Sintering, the manufacturing process is very accurate and not susceptible to tooling wear. Furthermore, SLS does not require any additional tooling and represents an economic manufacturing technique in the area of additive manufacturing. Another great upside of Powder Bed technologies is that many of the common materials offer great recyclability.
SLS Use cases
SLS is an additive manufacturing technology for producing plastic parts. This technology can realize functional prototypes and parts for end-use applications. SLS is the go-to-technology when the printed parts require good mechanical properties or must be produced very efficiently, i.e. jigs & fixtures, replacement parts and orthotics and prosthetics are regularly printed parts.
Our offered materials for SLS
PA 11 is a biobased polymer and provides excellent mechanical properties. Its high ductility and impact strength make it interesting for functional parts in various industries such as automotive. PA 11 parts can also be dyed and are biocompatible, why it is used more and more in the orthotics sector for small series and individualized parts.
Typical parts would be interior parts for automotive, prosthetics and orthotics as well as functional prototypes.
PA 12 is a polyamide (PA) and represents a standard material for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). This material combines high strength with long-term stability. Further advantages of PA 12 lie in its chemical resistance and biocompatibility. Therefore, the material can easily be used for medical applications.
PA 12 is usually used for fully functional prototypes as well as for end-use parts. One specific area of application is in the orthopedic sector, resulting from its biocompatibility.
PA 12 GF is a polyamide (PA) that is filled with glass beads making it a material with very good long-term usability. This plastic can withstand high thermal load capacities and combines high density and tensile strength.
PA 12 GF is often used for fully functional prototypes. Furthermore, it is often used for end-use parts e.g., in the automotive industry where it can be placed near high temperature environments.
PA 12 Al-filled is a polyamide (PA) that is filled with aluminum (Al). The aluminum filling results in a metallic-looking appearance. One of the major advantages of PA 12 Al-filled is its excellent dimensional stability at high temperatures combined with the light weight of a plastic. In addition to that, surfaces can be finished by grinding, polishing, or coating, resulting in even more possibilities to individualize each part regarding the specific use case.
PA 12 Al-filled is usually used for fully functional prototypes and jigs and fixtures. Another predestined use case is components that must operate under high temperatures as well as under great stress.
PA 12 FR is a polyamide that is provided with a special chemical flame retardant. This makes the material particularly suitable for industries in which such flame retardancy is required from a safety or regulatory perspective, especially the aerospace and rail sector. Additionally, it offers a high tensile strength.
PA 12 FR is approved for certain aerospace applications and is therefore used for interior components in aircrafts. It is also used in (passive) parts for electronic components.
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