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Post Processing Treatments on Laser Sintered Nylon 12

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The laser sintering of polymers is an established process producing components with well-documented material properties. Whilst these properties are inferior to those of injection moulded nylon 12, they are suitable for prototyping and several specialist production applications. Broadening the applicability of the process to a wider range of manufacturing applications can be accomplished by rendering the material properties of sintered nylon closer to those of injection moulded nylon. This paper reports on a series of post-processing treatments which have been carried out to enhance the mechanical properties of sintered nylon. The work has examined the effects of heat, pressure, infiltration with methyl methacrolate and combinations of these treatments. Results are reported on the impact of the treatments on the elongation and Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) of the test samples, with heated pressured samples improving UTS by 2MPa, and infiltrated parts increasing elongation by 5.2%.