Computational modelling of the viscoelastic non-isothermal sintering process in additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is the collective term for various fabrication techniques used to synthesize three dimensional objects layerwise. One of the largest benefits of additive manufacturing is the possibility to produce almost any shape or geometry. To fully exploit the possibilities, a fundamental understanding of the material aspects of the different fabrication processes is needed.

In this project, we obtain a better understanding of the sintering process and the resulting material properties of the Selective Laser Sintering technique by modelling. Using a 3D finite element model, we describe the moving solid-melt interface inside the powder particles, and the dynamics of the liquid bridge between two melting particles. A polymer chain dynamics model is used to describe the molecular diffusion process at the interface between two particles. These combined models will be verified by comparison with experimental results from the project of P. Hejmady.

Research type: numerical