Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.197, 11-25, 2019
Production of polyamide 11 microparticles for Additive Manufacturing by liquid-liquid phase separation and precipitation
Within this contribution liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) and precipitation from ethanol was studied as an approach to produce polyamide 11 (PA11) powders for selective laser sintering (SLS). To this end, the cloud point and solution temperature curve of the PAll-ethanol system was determined experimentally via turbidity measurements. The proper range of system composition and temperature for particle formation was deduced. The dependence of particle characteristics on process parameters (polymer concentration, stirring conditions and temperature regime) during LLPS and precipitation was assessed and the products were characterized with respect to their size and morphology. Furthermore, structural, rheological and thermal characteristics were analyzed and correlated with process parameters. Molecular weight distributions were determined. After removal of fines and dry coating with hydrophobic fumed silica, an optimized PA11 powder with mean particle size of 91 mu m showing good flowability for SLS was obtained. SLS processability of this optimized PA11 powder was demonstrated by building multilayered test specimens in a laser sintering machine. With this contribution, we present a comprehensive workflow for the process development, product characterization and product application of a SLS powder manufactured via precipitation. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS);Polymer precipitation;Polyamide 11 (PA11);Additive Manufacturing (AM);Selective laser sintering (SLS)