John Hunter, General Manager of LPW Technology Ltd, the UK-based supplier of optimised metal powders for Additive Manufacturing (AM), will present new research on powder re-use at RAPID 2014, Detroit, USA, June 9-12. Hunter, until recently Commercial Director at Carpenter Powder Products, will highlight the analytical techniques that can be used to assess the suitability of metal powders for AM applications and recycling.
In his presentation ‘Quality control measures critical to the adoption of sustainable Additive Manufacturing component production’, Hunter will focus on new research that assesses the impact of two alternative AM technologies on the mechanical and metallurgical properties of metal powders, Selective Laser Melting and Laser Metal Deposition. The experiments explain how processing changes metal powders, an essential step in assessing the feasibility of recycling.
The analytical data from the work will also be used to demonstrate a novel software solution for powder management, LPW PowderSolve. This package can be used to maintain traceability, document powder aging, and highlight contamination prior to powder use, thereby ensuring high levels of quality control throughout the lifecycle of the powder.
Understanding the behaviour of metal powders in AM machines is vital for the precisely controlled production of sophisticated, functional components, states LPW. Identifying which powder properties control AM performance supports both the optimisation of metal powders for specific applications and the reliable evaluation of used powders for further processing. Powder recycling is essential for the long-term sustainability of the industry.
LPW Technology is a global supplier of certified AM powders. The company has developed a full range of optimised powders specifically for Selective Laser Melting (SLM), Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) with standard powders supplied from stock, and custom and development alloys available on request.