Optimized polybutylene terephthalate powders for selective laser beam melting

Schmidt J, Sachs M, Fanselow S, Zhao M, Romeis S, Drummer D, Wirth KE, Peukert W (2016)

Publication Language: English

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2016


Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Book Volume: 156

Pages Range: 1-10

DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2016.09.009


Additive manufacturing processes like selective laser beam melting of polymers (LBM) are established for production of prototypes and individualized parts. The transfer to serial production currently is hindered by the limited availability of polymer powders with good processability. Within this contribution the effect of powder properties, such as particle size, shape and flowability on the processability in LBM and their influence on device quality is exemplified for polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) materials. A process chain for the production of spherical polymer microparticles has been developed to obtain PBT powder materials. The process chain consists of three steps: first, polymer microparticles are produced by wet grinding. Second, the particle shape is engineered by rounding in a heated downer reactor to improve the flowability of the product. Third, a further improvement of flowability of the still cohesive spherical PBT particles is realized by dry coating with fumed silica. Moreover, properties of the PBT powders obtained along the process chain are thoroughly characterized with respect to structure and crystallinity by infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. The effect of flowability, shape and bulk density on the powders’ processabilities in LBM is assessed by characterization of the quality of thin layers built in a LBM device. It is demonstrated that the device quality is strongly determined by particle properties: powders of good flowability and high bulk density are mandatory to obtain dense devices.

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How to cite


Schmidt, J., Sachs, M., Fanselow, S., Zhao, M., Romeis, S., Drummer, D.,... Peukert, W. (2016). Optimized polybutylene terephthalate powders for selective laser beam melting. Chemical Engineering Science, 156, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2016.09.009


Schmidt, Jochen, et al. "Optimized polybutylene terephthalate powders for selective laser beam melting." Chemical Engineering Science 156 (2016): 1-10.

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