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Research Papers

Selective Laser Sintering of Resin-Coated Sands—Part I: The Laser-Material Interaction

[+] Author and Article Information
Fabrizio Quadrini

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Roma, Italy

Loredana Santo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Roma, Italyloredana.santo@uniroma2.it

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 131(1), 011004 (Dec 18, 2008) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3046132 History: Received September 19, 2007; Revised November 12, 2008; Published December 18, 2008

Selective laser sintering of precoated sands is a process utilized to produce molds and cores for rapid casting by adding sand layer by layer and heating it using a laser beam. During the process, the resin flows and binds the grains; subsequently, an oven is used for the postcuring treatment to complete the curing of the resin. The aim of this paper was to study the laser-material interaction using a diode laser to directly obtain the material consolidation. It was the first step in the definition of a new approach for process investigation and innovation. Two main aspects were investigated with the laser source in a standstill position: first, the influence of the laser power, the location of the focal spot, and the exposure time on sand consolidation; second, the shape and dimension of cured samples depending on the process parameters. The experimental data, in terms of weight and size of the hardened sands, were analyzed, and a master curve was found. In Part II of this paper the selective laser sintering process will be implemented to produce shells.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Laser heating tests (focalization condition)

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Figure 2

(a) Surface appearance after laser heating. (b) A schematic image of the interaction area.

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Figure 3

Heating tests performed in an oven over long time periods at different temperatures

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Figure 4

Dimension measurements of cured samples after laser heating

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Figure 5

Weight increase of treated sand samples depending on process parameters

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Figure 6

Increase in the maximum axis of treated sand samples depending on process parameters

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Figure 7

Increase in treated sand dimensions depending on process parameters in the focalization condition

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Figure 8

a/b and a/h ratios depending on process parameters

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Figure 9

Density extrapolation from the laser heating test

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Figure 10

(a) Master curve for the weight data. (b) Shift factors.

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Figure 11

Master curve for the maximum axis a data

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Figure 12

White area extension for the tests at a 3 mm distance above the laser spot focus

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