ASTM International announced its first proficiency testing program in additive manufacturing (AM). Proficiency testing programs allow labs to compare their performance with others, ultimately helping all participants improve their performance.

The AM powder-metallurgy proficiency testing program (AMPM) will help labs measure physical properties of powders used in 3D printing, ASTM says. AMPM follows other standards and test methods developed in recent years by ASTM International and its committee on additive manufacturing technologies (F42). 

Testing laboratories and R&D facilities that participate will be given metal powders from manufacturers to measure and analyze density, flow rate, particle size, and other properties.

ASTM says that the ultimate goal of this program is to support the growing use of powder metallurgy, AM, and related industries by improving measuring techniques. More test methods will be added to the program over the next year to help capture additional metal-powder properties.

The first cycle will be in April, with another in October. For every new cycle, a new commercial sample will be sent.

Quality assurance

‘The primary benefit of the program is having a statistical quality assurance tool to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of lab performance in conducting testing,’ ASTM said in a press release. ‘Many labs also use the program to help gain lab accreditation.’

The program also allows for internal test method comparisons as well as periodic comparisons with other participating labs. The residual sample material can also be useful as a quality assurance sample.

Testing must be performed within the participant’s lab facilities, but lab does not need to perform all the tests within the program to participate. The annual registration fee ($1,360) must be paid in advance. Go here to register for the program.

This story is reprinted from material from the ASTM, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.