Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol.61, No.2, 514-525, 2021
Joining laser-sintered with injection-molded parts made of PA12 using infrared welding
Laser-sintering offers the possibility to produce complex and individualized components cost-effectively. To fully exploit the advantages of laser-sintering in assemblies with mass-produced components, high-performance joining processes like welding are necessary. Thus, a cost-effective customization of products can be enabled, which allows to follow the increasing trend of individualization. Infrared welding, in particular, can also be suitable for complex laser-sintered parts due to the reduced transverse forces during joining, compared to other welding processes. The investigations show that high strength between PA12 laser-sintered and injection-molded components can be achieved by infrared welding. The bond strength is mainly influenced by the welding parameters. Especially a low weld pressure leads to high achievable strengths and failure outside the weld seam. Joints between laser-sintered parts and glass fiber reinforced injection-molded components demonstrate the transferability of the obtained knowledge. The residual melt layer thickness of the joint decreases with increasing weld pressure, as the morphological characterization shows. Besides, the typical morphological seam structure can be seen on the side of the injection-molded component. In the area of the laser-sintered components, a deviating morphological structure can be observed. Distinctive flow lines can be observed, spherulitic structures can only partially be seen as well as deformed spherulites.