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Linde Released New Findings for Stability of AM

Linde releases a new, ideal gas mixture follows positive findings from a cooperative development effort between Linde and 3D Medlab – now part of Marle Group – to increase the quality and productivity of sophisticated thin medical devices built from Ti64.

The research, which took place between January 2020 and March 2021, looked at how the novel process gas affected spatter formation and process stability during laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) of Ti64 lattice structures, as well as the attributes that resulted. When working with argon-helium mixtures instead of argon alone, process monitoring with optical tomography images revealed that spatter emission was significantly reduced.

Sophie Dubiez-Le Goff, Expert Powder Metallurgy for Additive Manufacturing, Linde, said, “The ability to print reliably repeatable products is key to improving product qualification, which is crucial for the medical industry.” In addition, Linde unique argon-helium gas mixture reduces spatter emissions by 35%, significantly lowering the chance of manufacturing defective parts and boosting overall surface quality, according to research findings.

Porosity and surface quality are critical elements in the mechanical qualities of highly complicated parts, guaranteeing that the end product adheres as closely as possible to the original design specification and that fewer metal powder bits are released into the human body. Because the inert gas in the print chamber is such an essential factor affecting both component quality and overall production speed, the study’s primary goal was to determine the optimal gas composition to achieve both goals.

During testing with argon alone, a large amount of spatter – or molten metal particles generated by the laser – was observed splashing onto nearby sections being printed. Spatter on very complex components is unwelcome, as it reduces the fineness of part threads. Furthermore, using pure argon resulted in a level of porosity that Linde and 3D Medlab experts thought might significantly improve.

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