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Unique carbon fibre and aluminium filled laser sintering powder

News International-French

13 Feb 2013

RP Support, a leading service and materials provider to the additive manufacturing market, is pleased to announce the introduction of a unique laser sintering powder PA 550-ACF. Graphite in colour, this powder is a Nylon 12 based material, filled with aluminium and carbon fibre.

This unique powder is different to any other commercially available sintering material available on the UK market today and has been developed to meet specific customer needs for both tooling applications and F1 applications including wind tunnel models, internal on-car parts such as electronic enclosures and jigs for trimming final composite parts.

Both the base material and the aluminium filler are next generation quality, in that the majority of the particles are smaller than standard materials coupled with a tighter particle distribution. The effect is a finer side wall quality, increased smoothness of parts, optimal finishing compared with glass fillers, and with the addition of the carbon fibre the parts are also significantly stiffer compared with those produced from an aluminium only filled sintering powder.

The mechanical properties of the powder resemble a ‘composite-metal’ and include an ultimate tensile strength (XY) of 58 MPa, a tensile modulus of >5,000 MPa and flexural modulus of >5,000MPa. This data shows a 30-40% increase in mechanical properties over other commercially available aluminium filled materials. The stiffer parts bring advantages for wind tunnel testing and in addition, the inclusion of carbon fibre within the formulation, provides the benefit of lighter weight on-car parts. Unlike other aluminium filled materials, with careful break out of final parts this sintering powder is also ~30-40% recyclable, as the surrounding loose powder will not age and can be reused to reduce costs.