- Humidity control is essential for reproducible quality in additive manufacturing
Bridgewater, N.J., U.S., May 8, 2018 – At RAPID + TCT 2018, Linde LLC introduced a new storage solution for powder metals (PM) to help improve the reproducibility of additive manufacturing (AM) and other PM processes. The ADDvance® powder cabinet is atmosphere-regulated to protect powder integrity prior to use.
“Achieving reproducible quality of advanced 3D powder-metal parts begins with the incoming quality of materials,” said Grzegorz Moroz, Program Manager, Metals, Linde LLC. “Unfortunately, powder metals are prone to aging when exposed to ambient air, and especially humidity, which can affect chemical and physical properties and the overall quality of the powder. This is especially true for sensitive aluminum or titanium alloys needed for advanced aerospace and automotive parts and medical devices.
“Simply opening the door on a standard sealed storage cabinet can spike humidity levels from two or three percent to 35 percent or more.” he said.
The ADDvance powder cabinet continuously tests internal temperature and humidity levels and selectively uses a purge gas to regulate the internal atmosphere if changes are detected. Whenever one of the cabinet doors is opened and closed, a high-volume flow of purge gas (typically nitrogen or argon) is triggered to quickly remove moisture, and then a lower volume gas stream keeps humidity levels consistently low.
The storage system features touchscreen controls, gas flow and atmosphere monitoring, and alarms for excess humidity. The cabinet is comprised of two atmosphere-controlled compartments approximately 40 x 20 inch (1000 x 500 mm) with shelves, plus two open shelves below for storing equipment.
Linde can add value across the additive manufacturing chain, from powder metal production and 3D printing to thermal treatment and finishing. As a global leader in industrial gases and technology, the Linde Group operates a global R&D Center for AM in Munich, and collaborates with universities and manufacturers such as Airbus Group Innovations to improve AM processes. Linde also participates in the ACCLAIM project consortium for Accelerated Cladding and Integrated Machining.
Linde LLC offers a portfolio of solutions for the ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy industries, ranging from gases and equipment to services and process consulting, for powder metal production, additive manufacturing, combustion, heat treatment and cooling. For more information, contact Linde (www.lindeus.com), 800-755-9277.
About The Linde Group
In the 2017 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of USD 21.1 bn (EUR 17.113 bn), making it one of the leading gases and engineering companies in the world, with approximately 58,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business, with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at www.linde.com
Source: Linde Group