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Characterising Metal Powders

Fri, 17 June, 2022

We held a webinar on 8 June to provide an ‘Introduction to Metal Powder Characterisation.’

Metallic powders have grown in importance in recent years due to their use in additive manufacturing (AM) and other powder-related processes such as near net shape powder metallurgy hot isostatic pressing (NNS PM HIP).

The characteristics of these powders play a crucial role in their final materials properties, meaning that powder characterisation represents a crucial step in the production of metal powder components.

Because these powders are manufactured in batches there are physical and chemical inconsistencies that result in high scatter bands in the materials’ properties.

The primary considerations, in terms of metal powder characteristics for additive manufacturing (AM), is to ensure consistent powder bed packing and constant flow rate, dependent on the specific process being used.

The packing density and flowability of metal powders depend on the powder manufacturing method, specified powder size range, particle size distribution, shape and morphology of the particles. These characteristics need to be determined to ensure consistency in properties of the produced parts.

TWI technology consultant, Dr Raja Khan was joined by project leaders Dr Kostas Georgilas and Alessandro Sergi for the webinar, which discussed the characterisation methods available for metal powders.

The webinar also investigated the effect of different powder manufacturing methods on the powder properties along case studies demonstrating how differing metal powder properties affect the structural integrity of the produced AM components.

You can see a recording of the webinar, below: