Keith Murray, European Sales and Marketing Manager, Powders, Sandvik Osprey
Mary Kate Johnston, Business Development Manager, Americas, Powders Group, Sandvik Osprey
In the last 5 years there has seen a transition in the use of Additive Manufacturing techniques from prototyping to series production. There remain a number of technical challenges that need to be overcome if the technology is to be adopted across a wider range of markets, one of which is improved part-to-part consistency. It is believed that a factor that can influence the consistency of the selective laser melting process is ageing of the metal powder used to manufacture parts. While commercial powder producers can exercise tight control over the ‘as received’ powder, changes that can subsequently occur following exposure to repeated process cycles in the selective laser melting machine warrant separate investigation.
In this presentation, we extend the scope of work first reported at RAPID 2016 and examine the changes that occur to the characteristics of gas atomised 316L stainless steel powder after up to 20 consecutive build cycles in the selective laser melting process. We also relate these changes in powder characteristics to the build quality and of the processed parts.