Influence of laser power on tensile properties and material characteristics of laser-sintered UHMWPE
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield
S1 3JD, UK
2 Unilever, R&D Port Sunlight Laboratory, Wirral CH63 3JW, UK
3 XAAR plc, Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge CB4 0XR, UK
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 September 2016
Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) has excellent properties, such as high mechanical performance, low friction, high wear and chemical resistance but so far there has been limited use in additive manufacturing (AM). Laser sintering of polymers is one of the most promising AM technologies due to its ability to produce complex geometries with accurate dimensions and good mechanical properties. Consequently, this study investigates the influence of laser power on physical and mechanical properties of UHMWPE parts produced by laser sintering. In particular mechanical properties, such as Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS), Young’s Modulus and elongation at break were evaluated alongside relative density, dilation and shrinkage. Finally, the fracture surface of the tensile test specimens was examined by electron microscopy. Results show that within a laser power range of 6–12 W there appears to be an optimum where tensile strength and relative density reach a maximum, dilation is minimised and where elongation increases with laser power. UTS up to 2.42 MPa, modulus up to 72.6 MPa and elongation at break up to 51.4% were observed. Relative density and part dimensions are also influenced by laser power.
Key words: Additive manufacturing / UHMWPE / Laser sintering / Laser power / Tensile properties
© Y. Khalil et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.