Additive manufacturing (AM) is a relatively new technology that is fast emerging in a multitude of industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Medical, and Jewelry fabrication. Additive manufacturing involves the creation of three-dimensional objects from CAD drawings using lasers and printers to build the part layer by layer. Initially, AM technology was limited to the fabrications of polymers only. Latest research and development has allowed parts of ceramics and metal powders to be manufactured through processes like Powder Bed Fusion and Direct Energy Deposition.
PPM produces and supplies metal powders that have found success in these new technologies such as Steel, Titanium based alloys, Tungsten Carbide, Cobalt-Chromium, and Pure metals such as tantalum, titanium, aluminum, and copper.
| Powder Bed Fusion (e.g. Selective Laser Sintering)
A part is formed using lasers or electron beams that are guided using CAD technology over a carefully distributed powder bed. The heat applied by the lasers sinters the powder into the required shape. Then, a new layer of powder is distributed and the laser repeats its path. This process is repeated until the part is completed. Common materials used include Steel, Aluminum, and Titanium.
| Direct Energy Deposition (e.g. 3D Printing)
Powders are deposited from a nozzle, which is typically mounted on a multi-axis arm allowing the nozzle to move in multiple directions. A laser or electron beam melts the material once it has been deposited onto the building surface. Common materials used include polymers, ceramics, and metal powders or wires.
Powder consistency is vital for the manufacturer to create consistent and high quality products. PPM's production facility offers careful control and consistency in powder quality in areas including Morphology (shape), Particle size distribution (affects laser adsorption), Apparent and Tap density, and Flowability. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our capable and experienced engineering staff. Samples for qualification are available upon request.