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Materials for selective laser sintering additive manufacturing: Part-3

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#Powder Bed Fusion (SLS,SLM,,DMLS,EBM) #All applications #Aerospace #Mechanical #Fashion #Architecture #Medical device #Health industry #All materials #Polymers #Composites

In this blog, let us see advantages and applications of the polymeric materials for selective laser sintering (SLS) additive manufacturing. In our previous blogs on materials for SLS process, we explored different polymeric materials and then properties of commercially available materials. List of polymer powders commercially available and their applications are provided in the below table. 

Table 1. Materials for SLS and their advantages and applications.


Very high glass transition and melting temperatures compare to other plastics, excellent mechanical and dielectric properties, good chemical resistance, long service life and biocompatible material.

The polymers useful to make mold tools, as a biocompatible material useful to make sterilizable medical devices or patient-specific implants, the aerospace industry uses this inherently flame-retardant material as a substitute for metal in the interior and air conditioning systems.

PEKK with Carbon Fibers

Chemically resistant with a high melting point, and inherently flame retardant, offers high strength at low weight and withstand high temperatures.

Production of demanding composite components for aerospace, electronics and mobility industry.

PA 11 and PA12

(Nylon 11 and Nylon 12)

Chemically and mechanically heat-resistant and provides high durability, impact-resistant and alternative to the plastics ABS or PA6, offers strong, flexible and durable as molded parts. PA11 is slightly more flexible and impact resistant, whereas PA12 is stronger, more abrasion resistant, and biocompatible. Composites materials with mixture of PA12 and aluminide, carbon, or glass are developed to optimize parts for higher strength, stiffness, or flexibility.

Suitable for producing functional elements that require high material strength and/or impact resistance. These are cost-efficient general-purpose materials and suitable for a variety of applications, including functional prototypes and qualified series production parts from the industry.
PA 12 with Glass Beads, and or Carbon Fibers

High rigidity and good elongation at break, also resistant to wear and tear, and thermally resilient. The PA 12 material is filled with both hollow glass beads and carbon fibers makes it exceptionally temperature-resistant and rigid, but also very light.

This material is used mostly in vehicle engines and molding material for deep-drawing tools.
PA 12 with Aluminum
Aluminum-filled PA 12 powder is characterized by high rigidity, a metallic appearance and a range of useful post-processing options. The surfaces of Alumide parts can very easily be finished.
Parts made from Alumide can therefore be used in functional applications at high temperatures.


Properties similar to elastomers – this means that they are flexible at room temperature but still remain dimensionally stable. When heated, they can be plastically deformed and processed like thermoplastics. Since they are easy to process, they can be used to replace cross-linked elastomers and soft PVC. Extremely hydrolysis-resistant, with high resilience and good tribological properties.The degree of flexibility can be influenced by the part design and the choice of process parameters and can even be varied within the same part. TPEs can for example be used to make damping elements, bumpers, bellows, soles, handles and hoses.


Transparent, foamed white, amorphous or semi-crystalline thermoplastic has high rigidity, medium hardness, and strength, but low impact resistance.Especially suitable for investment casting thanks to its excellent dimensional accuracy and low melting point, useful for making sacrificial mold tools. 3D-printed parts made from PS are used to make master models for vacuum, plaster and ceramic shell castings.

Polypropylene is relatively similar to polyethylene, but its material properties make it significantly harder, stronger and more thermally stable. Since any remaining material after a build order can be reused for the next build, this material achieves attractive costs per part and avoids waste. Additively manufactured parts made from this naturally white material are characterized by good flexibility and rigidity, as well as high chemical resistance. They absorb very little water and are very light. This material is used for functional prototypes that need to be exposed to chemical and mechanical loads. 

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