Reducing part deformation of isotactic polypropylene specimens fabricated with powder bed fusion technique through controlling crystallization behaviors

Xia Gao, Junqiang Guo, Daijun Zhang, Jing Li, Yunlan Su, Florian Arbeiter, Huayi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Serious shrinkage and warpage are obstacles to the development of ideal isotactic polypropylene (iPP) materials for polymer-based powder bed fusion (PBF) technique. In this work, the variations of the dimensional accuracy of the PBF-printed iPP parts were investigated with various printing parameter and nucleating agent. The iPP parts printed at a scanning speed of 700 mm/s exhibit smaller extents of shrinkage and curling than those at lower speeds, due to a lower degree of crystallinity. Interestingly, iPP blended with the α- or β-nucleating agent demonstrates more serious part deformation with respect to neat iPP. Especially, α-nucleating agent tends to trigger the most severe curling under the investigated printing parameters. Based on X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results, both neat iPP and α-iPP parts crystallize into α-crystal, while β-iPP parts display the coexistence of β- and α-crystals. And, the difference of the crystallinity is less than 3% in three specimens. This suggests that both crystallinity and crystalline structure are not the main reasons for the shrinkage and warpage in this case. Instead, the severe part deformation of the α-iPP parts is assigned to the narrower sintering window as well as the higher onset crystallization temperature of α-iPP, which hinder relaxation of residual stresses. This work provides insights into the part deformation mechanism for PBF-processed polymer materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3025-3037
Number of pages13
Journal Journal of polymer science
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2024

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  • crystallization behavior
  • isotactic polypropylene
  • part deformation
  • powder bed fusion technique

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