Novel SLS Powders

The Rapid Powders process provides us with the fast and flexible means to manufacture a range of high-quality composite selective laser sintering powders for many applications. Conventionally, composite powders for SLS are produced by dry mixing; however, any fillers – particularly nano-fillers will tend to agglomerate and be released as dust when exposed to the atmosphere. In the Rapid Powders process, the fillers are highly dispersed and in the dispersed state bond to the polymer powder’s surface. The filler is concentrated on the powder particle surface and becomes incorporated in the surface layer of molten polymer created by the action of the laser. This molten composite polymer joins or sinters the powder particles together.

Using our technology, we have proven that small amounts of graphene improve the toughness of SLS components, and the improved dispersion of glass and aluminium fillers improves the sintered part’s ultimate tensile strength. We have developed SLS composite powders with a combination of fillers that when sintered exhibit excellent electrical conductivity. Such components could be used as EMC shields or as lightweight conductive parts for aerospace, automotive or defence applications.