Lucideon helps Additive Manufacturer Solve Powder Inconsistency

The Challenge

A company producing Ti 6 Al-4V components using additive manufacturing came to Lucideon for assistance with AM powder handling problems that arose after changing powder suppliers. 

Powder handling issues that can occur during AM processing include:

  • Improper powder particle flow as each fresh layer is swept during the build process. 
  • Improper fill (packing) of powder layers.
  • Varied flow behavior associated with powder recycling.

What We Delivered

Thanks to our powder expertise, we were able to:

  1. Determine the Particle Size Distribution (PSD) and flow characteristics of the metal powders.
  2. Introduce the client to powder shape analysis as a means of identifying differences in metal powder morphology that influenced flow behavior.
  3. Make recommendations regarding metal powder conditioning for use in AM.

Value to the Client

Through our detailed analysis our client could introduce procedures to condition their powders for more consistency within their process.  Through the data provided on structure, PSD and morphology they could alter their process to suit the new supply of powder and avoid the issues they were experiencing.

The client was also introduced to Factorial Experimental Design (FED) expertise available at Lucideon. FED can deliver further optimization of the AM process by considering the joint impact of raw material and process variables on the quality of intermediate / final items.

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