Optimised metal powders key to success of precision additively manufactured components

July 16, 2014

MBFZ Toolcraft GmbH, based in Georgensgmund, Germany, is a specialist manufacturer of high-end precision metal parts and components. The company offers a comprehensive manufacturing service, which includes Additive Manufacturing (metal laser melting), to produce micro-components of the highest dimensional accuracy to meet the demands of a wide range of industries including, biomedical, defence and motor sport.

Many of Toolcraft’s customers are in the medical technology and aerospace sectors, which require the use of certified materials. For applications in these industries, a secure supply of certified powders and the ability to produce components to extremely precise specifications are essential.

The company recently reported that it has been using LPW Technology, Daresbury, UK, to provide powders for these exacting AM applications.  “LPW are ahead of other suppliers in terms of the way in which they analyse powders under the conditions needed to provide relevant data for AM. They also understand how to use these data to help us identify an optimised powder for a specific AM application. LPW not only provide the powders best suited to our needs, but also ensure a secure supply, at an affordable price,” stated Christoph Hauck, Managing Director of Toolcraft.


Powder analysis at LPW Technology

The properties of the metal powders used directly impact the efficiency of AM processes and, crucially, the mechanical properties of the finished component. To ensure powders are of the highest quality LPW has developed the capability to characterise powders fully. Powders are therefore optimised for Additive Manufacturing. This ability can enhance consistency, quality and significantly reduce costs by managing the degradation of the powders during use in Additive Manufacturing machines.




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