Whether it be titanium, cobalt chrome, aluminum or any alloy, the metal powder that is used in the additive manufacturing process must be sized to a very tight distribution. For Electronic Beam Melting (EBM) these sizes are usually 107 microns and 44 microns, while for Selective Laser Melting, the range is from 44 microns to 15 microns. Elcan Industries has been successfully sieving Additive Manufacturing powders for numerous companies. Our Hi-Sifter Powder Sieve equipment is the only machine capable of achieving these precise cuts without any non-metal surfaces touching the material. The completely stainless steel design is ideal for the industry, and the high efficiencies of the equipment are unmatched.
Standard vibratory screeners and ultrasonics are forced to increase the mesh opening as they cannot get down to the fine sizes required. These other screeners on the market lack the energy to make these precise cuts and will blind the screen mesh once processing begins. This destroys throughput and efficiency.
Other options include using an air classifier to make these cuts. An Air Classifier is extremely costly to operate. In order to remove these fine particles, an air classifier will have to take out a bunch of good material in the process. If a classifier gives an efficient cut, there is a massive yield loss associated with this process. This results in very high costs – especially with high-value metal powders.
Elcan has been sieving additive manufacturing powders down to 10 microns. The Hi-Sifter has achieved up to 98% efficiency in a single pass on these metal powders, and there is no yield loss. With a powder sieving machine, only the particles small enough to fit through the hole are removed, no more, no less. Current sieving of AM powders is needed for the powder that goes into the bed material. This fine powder cannot contain any material of less than 15 microns. Fines do not layer properly in the laser bed, and this can disrupt the 3d printing process.
Elcan is already working with numerous companies to sieve their additive manufacturing powders in a very timely and extremely efficient manner. Being able to sell powders that meet these tight specifications allows companies to improve their powder-producing process significantly and improves quality over competitors that are using a more standard process. Elcan Industries offers a free day of testing at our toll manufacturing facility in Tuckahoe, New York, to prove our capabilities. Call today to find out how we can help improve your process.
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