LPW Technology has developed a ‘Total Powder Management’  (TPM) concept to help users get the best performance out of its metal powders for additive manufacturing.

It begins with the manufacture and supply of LPW’s gas or plasma atomised powders qualified for aerospace, defence, and medical applications. The powders can then be tested in LPW’s  PowderFlow testing equipment allows the user to measure the flow of the powder at their facility. LPW PowderTrace hoppers store the powder between uses in a clean and controlled environment and LPW PowderSolve quality management software monitors, controls and manages the traceability of additive manufacturing metal powder across multiple machines, operators, and alloys. Used powder may be returned to LPW for plasma processing to reduce levels of contamination and allow for further use. LPW also offers full lab testing services.

‘The common assumption in the industry is that powder is not critical to the additive manufacturing process,’ said Dr Phil Carroll, managing director of LPW. ‘The belief has been that the powder doesn’t degrade or change during use. Both assumptions are incorrect. Powder is the basis to success within additive manufacturing. No machine or process parameters is able to remove contamination within the powder.

‘The solution is looking at the additive manufacturing process from the perspective of the powder.’

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