In previous investigations, it was found that the thermal properties of a polyamide 12 compound can be manipulated, using a designed filler, to improve the melting as well as crystallization behavior, determined for selective laser sintering. A common downside of the introduction of a non-flexing mineral filler is the reduction of the mechanical properties, such as ductility. This paper investigates the influence of content and surface modification of limestone on the mechanical properties. The aim is to understand the effect of an optimized coupling agent on the properties of a compound, containing polyamide 12 filled with 10 wt % of surface modified calcium carbonate. A range of four mineral filler modifications was chosen to investigate their coupling effect, namely 6-amino hexanoic acid, ε-caprolactam, l-arginine or glutamic acid. The in advance surface modified fillers were then each used in combination with the polyamide 12 in a twin-screw extrusion process. With an optimized surface modifying agent, the tensile strength as well as elongation at break can be improved in comparison with uncoated filler implementation, such that up to 60% of the loss of ductility and toughness of a final part when using an untreated filler could be regained using an optimized surface modifier at a correct amount. With the tested filler grade and the specific tested filler amount, the optimized amount of 6-amino hexanoic acid was approx. 2.5 mmol of treatment agent per 100 m2 of CaCO3. These found improvements in a twin-screw extruded polyamide 12 compound show the possible usage of modified calcium carbonate as a functional filler in additive manufacturing and can potentially be transferred in a subsequent investigation in the selective laser sintering process.
Keywords: calcium carbonate; composite; limestone; mechanical properties; polyamide 12.