Atomising Systems Ltd. (ASL), a Sheffield, UK, based metal powder producer, has invested £150,000 to upgrade its in-house chemical analysis facilities with the addition of an ICP-OES system. The new equipment expands the range of elements that can be reliably analysed in-house and covers almost all alloys in regular production, such as stainless steels, nickel and copper alloys, for Additive Manufacturing, Metal Injection Moulding, Press and Sinter Powder Metallurgy, brazing, thermal spraying, etc.
To house the new equipment, some of which involves the use of aggressive acids to bring such corrosion-resistant alloys into solution, a new specially ventilated laboratory has been constructed, meaning ASL now has three laboratories for different types of powder testing.
ASL reports that current staff have now been trained and the equipment is performing well. It expects to employ extra staff as demand increases.
This new facility now means that ASL’s laboratories can test:
- Chemical composition via ICP-OES and XRF
- Powder oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and sulphur by Eltra systems
- Particle size by laser diffraction and sieving
- Particle shape by Hall and Carney funnels, density cup, Tap Density, Optical Microscopy
- Compressibility and Green Strength
Discussing the increased capability of the quality department, Dan Lodge, ASL’s Quality Manager, stated, “We now measure our laboratory turn-round time in hours, while external analysis can take up to a week. Rapid results from the new equipment will allow our Production department to be much more responsive and will also support our extensive R&D projects.”
Simon Dunkley, Managing Director, commented, “We are pleased with this major investment; this is the first step in our current expansion plans which by 2022 will see a 50% increase in capacity enabling more efficient production of high-grade powders for our increasingly demanding customers in Europe and the USA.”