The ICP-OES system installed in ASL’s lab.
The ICP-OES system installed in ASL’s lab.

Metal powder producer Atomising Systems (ASL) has invested £150,000 to install an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) system in its lab.

According to the company, this expands the range of elements that can be analysed in-house to cover almost all alloys in regular production, such as stainless steels, nickel and copper alloys, for additive manufacturing (AM), metal injection molding (MIM), press and sinter, brazing and thermal spraying.

To house the new equipment, some of which involves the use of very aggressive acids to bring corrosion-resistant alloys into solution, a new specially ventilated laboratory has been constructed, and ASL now has three laboratories for different types of powder testing.

In all ASL’s laboratories can now test:

  • Chemical composition via ICP-OES and X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Powder oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and sulphur by Eltra systems
  • Particle size by laser diffraction and sieving
  • Particle shape by Hall and Carney funnels, density cup, tap density, optical microscopy
  • Compressibility and green strength.

‘We now measure our laboratory turn-round time in hours, while external analysis can take up to a week,’ said quality manager, Dan Lodge.

‘This is the first step in our current expansion plans which by 2022 will see a 50% increase in capacity enabling more efficient production of high-grade powders for our increasingly demanding customers in Europe and the USA,’ added MD Simon Dunkley.

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