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How to correctly understand the technical indicators of metal 3D printing powder

wallpapers News 2021-01-22
For the industrial metal 3D printing field, powder consumables are still one of the important factors restricting the large-scale application of this technology. The evaluation indicators for metal powder in the industry mainly include chemical composition, particle size distribution, powder sphericity, fluidity, and bulk density. Among them, chemical composition and particle size distribution are commonly used indicators in the field of metal 3D printing to evaluate the quality of metal powders. The sphericity, fluidity, and bulk density can be used as reference indicators for evaluating quality.

Technical indicators of metal 3D printing powder
The first is the chemical composition—the actual mass percentage of each element in the metal powder. At present, the most widely used methods for detecting the chemical composition of metals are chemical analysis and spectroscopy. The chemical analysis method uses chemical reactions to determine the composition of metals, which can achieve a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the chemical composition of metals. Spectroscopic analysis is to determine the chemical composition and approximate content of metals by using their own unique characteristic spectra generated by various elements in metals under high temperature and high energy excitation. It is generally used for qualitative analysis of metal chemical compositions. 
The second is particle size distribution. The statistical data of the volume percentage of metal powder particles of different sizes within a certain size interval and this data is normally distributed. The last one is the reference index of sphericity, loose density, fluidity, and so on. The sphericity is the degree to which the metal powder particles are close to the sphere, which is generally qualitatively analyzed by scanning electron microscope. Fluidity refers to the time required for a certain amount of metal powder particles to flow through a measuring tool with a specified aperture. It can be measured by a Hall flow meter—the smaller the value, the better the fluidity of the powder.
Different printing needs different indicators.
For metal 3D printing, since the elements are present in gas form after the metal is remelted during the printing process, it is possible that defects such as blowholes may be generated locally. So affect the compactness and mechanical properties of the workpiece. The particle size range of metal 3D printing powder is divided according to different energy sources of metal printers. In the case of printers that use the laser as an energy source, it is suitable to use 15~53μm powder as consumables because of its fine focusing spot and easy melting of fine powder because the powder within this particle size range has good fluidity and is easier to melt.

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