Effects of Ingredient Proportions on the Performance of α-Cellulose/PLA Mixtures Used for Laser Sintering

Hui Zhang, Yanling Guo, David Lee Bourell, Deyu Meng


A new powder feedstock composed of biocompatible and degradable biomass materials was introduced and evaluated for laser sintering in this research. The goal for the material is to facilitate high-value utilization of sustainable materials and expand the variety of feedstock that can be used for laser sintering. It was mechanically mixed with polylactic acid (PLA) powder and the filler of α-cellulose powder in the content of 5 wt%, 10 wt%, 15 wt%, and 20 wt%. The effects of the ingredient proportions were evaluated relative to laser sintering performance of α-cellulose/PLA mixtures. The results revealed that the increasing cellulose loading had almost no influence on the mixtures’ glass transition temperature, the melt temperature, and the crystallization temperature; thus, the mixtures would share the same processing parameters with neat PLA during the laser sintering fabrication. Although the cellulose loading reduced the materials’ melt fluidity and mechanical properties, it decreased the dimensional deformation of the laser-sintered parts and made the mixture more feasible as the feedstock of laser sintering compared to neat PLA.


Laser sintering; α-Cellulose/PLA mixtures; Mass ratio; Thermal properties; Mechanical properties

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