Evaluating the flowability performance of metal powder in additive manufacturing

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Physical and chemical properties of metal powder determine its flowability performance in the powder bed fusion process. Size distribution and morphology are of well-known physical parameters presenting the powder quality for additive manufacturing. As the AM industry moves forward, the need for versatile methodologies facilitating ranking the input materials is becoming more important. The Materials Processing Institute aims to develop such methodologies for correlating size and morphology to flowability performance of virgin and reused powder. This approach provides the powder and part manufacturers with an efficient decision-making on their input materials.

Within the last few years, some in-house definitions were applied to classify the metal powder into morphological groups using Malvern Panalytical Morphologi 4. Each morphological group was defined using single or multiple standard geometrical descriptors. The developed methodology was verified in practice, and a robust correlation was found between distribution of the group classifications and the flowability parameters. The outcomes were also assessed against the mechanical testing of the AM pieces. Such methodologies can be utilized for other materials such as cement, ceramic and polymer powder.


  • Ehsan Rahimi - Senior Researcher - Advanced Materials, Materials Processing Institute

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Who should attend? 

  • Companies/facilities using additive manufacturing to produce parts themselves or through third parties
  • Companies/facilities supplying powder materials) for use in the additive manufacturing process
  • Companies/facilities responsible for testing/analysing materials used in the additive manufacturing process