Aerosint researches zero-waste SLS printing using PEEK
SLS with PEEK
Aerosint decided to address the issue of selective laser sintering (SLS) with PEEK (polyether ether ketone), one of the highest-performing plastics worldwide, with an aim of achieving zero-waste printing. Using PEEK on an SLS machine is currently very expensive and most of the PEEK powder used for support – approximately 75% of the powder used for each volume – cannot be recycled.
The Aerosint system would replace the support powder with a different one. This project will require effort because the SLS procedure is not self-evident. For example, the recoating system must be able to resist several hours in a hot oven set to 350 °C.
Sirris is experienced with the SLS procedure, which was used to assist Aerosint with the development project. Experiments were required to validate the results for the development of a numeric model. Sirris assisted Aerosint by setting the main limits related to the SLS procedure, especially in terms of the high temperatures involved. Sirris developed a testbed to quantify the main parameters for the recoating system.
This project developed a numeric tool to contribute to the design of the recoating system for the PEEK-SLS procedure.