Date recorded: February 25 2021

The Importance of Powder Quality and Recycling in Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing Processes

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is currently revolutionizing the manufacturing world as it can be used to produce much more complex parts while reducing waste when compared to traditional subtractive methods. In powder bed fusion AM processes, such as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), materials are selectively connected layer by layer to produce a part based on a 3D model. Today we are focusing on the importance of powder characterization for thermoplastic polymers that are commonly used in powder bed fusion AM processes, such as nylon 12.

In this webinar we will show why particle size and shape characterization of the polymer feedstock is critical for additive manufacturing and how the Morphologi 4 automated imaging system can be used to investigate this.

We will look at how the particle size and shape of different types of polymer commonly used in additive manufacturing affects the packing behaviour and flow characteristics of the powders. Assessment is key as this will affect powder layer formation, ultimately influencing manufacturing efficiency and final part quality.

We will also look at powder recycling in powder bed fusion AM processes. The ability to recycle unused powder offers the potential for great resource efficiency. However, this efficiency depends strongly on the condition of the recycled powder, as any change risks a drop in final part quality. We will show how the Morphologi 4 can be used to classify and compare new and recycled powders based on their particle shape.