International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer vol:46 issue:6 pages:1103-1109
Estimation of the temperature field in the powder bed in selective laser sintering process is a key issue for understanding the sintering/binding mechanisms and for optimising the technique. Heat transfer may be strongly affected by formation and growth of necks between particles due to sintering When the contact conductivity becomes predominant in the powder bed effective thermal conductivity. The necks often remain small as compared to the particle size. To calculate the effective contact conductivity of such structures a model of independent small thermal contacts is proposed. The conductivity of the considered cubic-symmetry lattices and the random, packing of equal spheres depends on the three structural parameters: the relative density, the coordination number, and the contact size. The present model agrees with the known numerical calculations in the range of contact radius to particle radius ratio below 0.3. The strong dependence on the contact size is qualitatively confirmed by experimental data. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.