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Simulation of transient temperature for mixture of two materials in the selective laser sintering process

Simulation of transient temperature for mixture of two materials in the selective laser sintering process

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In the process of rapid prototyping by the method of selective laser sintering, transient temperature has a direct effect upon the sintering performance. In the present work, a model is developed to predict the three-dimensional transient temperature field. It uses the finite element method to model the variation of thermal properties and solid–liquid two-phase interface in sintering the mixture of Al2O3-coated ceramic powder and polystyrene powder. A high-speed charge-coupled device image temperature measurement system is used to obtain real data from laser sintering experiments for comparison. The test results validate the simulation data and imply that the modelling method is useful in predicting the transient sintering temperature when correct thermal properties and key factors of two-phase interface are main concerns. The performance characteristics of the sintering process are predicted by the modelling method.

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