Sintavia publishes paper on disposal procedures for powder condensate waste

March 18, 2021

Sintavia, LLC, Hollywood, Florida, USA, has published an overview of proper handling procedures for powder condensate waste generated as part of the Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) Additive Manufacturing process. The paper, ‘Overview of Disposal Procedures for Powder Condensate’ was written by Ashley Wallace, Sintavia’s Quality & EHS Engineer, in collaboration with the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) and Triumvirate Environmental, a provider of enterprise waste management and environmental services.

Powder condensate is the term used to describe solidified particles which result from the evaporation of metal alloys during the PBF process. This condensate, a waste stream unique to AM, is either deposited into a collection chamber within the AM machine (‘dry’ condensate) or wet-vacuumed out of the chamber (‘wet’ condensate, along with the melt spatter removed at the same time). Both of these forms of condensate may be hazardous and must be disposed of in line with applicable environmental regulations.

As metal AM has only recently entered its maturity with regards to production, powder condensate as a waste stream was previously neither a major concern for operators nor widely studied. However, as the production volumes increase industry-wide, manufacturers must allocate increasing resources for the safe disposal of the material. In order to do so, powder condensate should be classed as a separate waste stream and appropriately documented with cost-effective disposal methods.

‘Overview of Disposal Procedures for Powder Concentrate’ discusses the procedures used in the United States for analysis and disposing of condensate from the PBF process, providing a real-world example of how one high-volume manufacturer handles the disposal.

According to Wallace, “Knowing where each condensate stream is going is just as important as the proper preparation of each type of waste. As Sintavia has grown, we have recognised that proper disposal of all of our waste streams must be a priority. We have worked with Triumvirate Environmental and other experts within the industry to manage the final disposal of these streams according to regulatory requirements.”

“We were pleased to work with the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association and Triumvirate Environmental on this paper,” added Brian Neff, Sintavia’s CEO. “By sharing what we’ve learned with other industry stakeholders, we hope these published guidelines can help other Powder Bed Fusion AM manufacturers as they develop their own process to determine the safe and proper handling and disposal of powder condensate.”

The full paper is available through the AMGTA website.

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