Wall Colmonoy invests in Morphologi 4

Wall Colmonoy is a leading global materials engineering group of companies engaged in the manufacturing of Colmonoy® surfacing and Nicrobraz® brazing products, precision castings, coatings, and engineered components across aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, mining, energy and other industrial sectors. Headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan, Wall Colmonoy has been an established name in metallurgy since 1938, with several sites in the US and their European headquarters in Swansea, UK.

Wall Colmonoy is a leading global materials engineering group of companies engaged in the manufacturing of Colmonoy® and Wallex® surfacing and Nicrobraz® brazing products, precision castings, coatings, and engineered components across aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, mining, energy and other industrial sectors. Headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan, Wall Colmonoy have been an established name in metallurgy since 1938, with several sites in the US and European headquarters in Swansea, UK.
 
Wall Colmonoy manufactures over 500 different metal powder products at their Pontardawe facility in Swansea and have a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment for characterizing their powders; including laser diffraction, chemical analysis, rheometry, optical microscopy and electron microscopy. With a recent move into Additive Layer Manufacturing, where powder properties such as particle size and shape are often more critical, there was a need to expand their analytical capabilities. “We know that particle shape directly influences Additive Layer Manufacturing performance and our customers expect a high-quality product with the correct size distribution and a spherical morphology” said Tom Roblin, Process Engineering Manager. “We have manual microscopy and electron microscopy which allow us to qualitatively check the products we manufacture but we also needed a technique that could provide quantitative data on a statistically representative sample.
 
The technical team recognized that an automated optical imaging platform capable of analyzing a large number of particles was required. They also needed image analysis capabilities that could automatically quantify the size and shape distribution of those particles. “We identified three platforms that we thought could meet our requirements. This included two Dynamic Imaging systems and the Morphologi 4 Static Imaging system from Malvern Panalytical” said Roblin. “While Dynamic Imaging was able to analyze a larger sample volume, the superior image clarity provided by the Morphologi 4 was of greater importance to us and also gave more consistent results”.

The Morphologi 4 has found multiple applications within the laboratory, not just for Additive Layer Manufacturing powders, but for many of their other products also. “Morphologi 4 is used to quantitatively measure the particle shape of our atomized alloy powders. By investing in this measurement equipment, we can benchmark and improve our current processes and products.” said Roblin. “It will also aid in the development of a new range of Wall Colmonoy powders for Additive Layer Manufacturing. For us, it is a valuable tool that provides clear images, quantitative analysis and consistent results."
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Figure 1. Morphologi 4 provides detailed morphological descriptions of particulate samples through static image analysis, enabling a greater understanding of both sample and process.

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