A method was developed to produce carbon nanomaterial-reinforced polymeric composites in a powder form, which are applicable in conventional powder-based additive manufacturing (AM) techniques such as such as laser sintering or powder extrusion.
It was shown that the use of such composite powders enhances sintering behaviour during AM over virgin polymer powders, resulting in improved sintered product properties. This method opens up the possibility of using conventional polymers that once had limited processability in laser sintering due to inferior mechanical and thermal properties
Through the control and tuning of formulations and compositions of the composite powders during manufacturing, allowing the thermal and electrical conductance of composites can be adjusted by varying the loading percentage of conductive fillers and the types of surface functionalization. This provides for an adjustable sintering behaviour and finished product property.
Potential uses for this technology includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Improving finished product properties for existing
- Fabrication of high strength to weight composite parts for aerospace, automotive and anti-electromagnetic interference applications
- 3D architectures for new-generation actuation, packaging and soft-robotics design and manufacturing
- A wide range of candidate materials is applicable for this method
- Controllable formulations, microstructures, and morphology
- Cost-effective and mass production
- Improvements in the applications of powder-based AM
- Improvements in the sintering behaviour of materials
- Improved finished product properties - electrical anti-static materials (10-6 to 10-4 S/cm) and relatively high thermal conductivity (>4 W/Km)