The last time we spoke about German machine manufacturer Assonic Dorstener Siebtechnik, the company was part of the AM Powder Plus network which aimed to deliver a range of solutions for highly automated parts and powder processing and handling in the SLM process.
Today, the company launches a new powder preparation system for AM in collaboration with metal additive manufacturing partner Oerlikon AM. The latter provides a range of surface technologies and other materials to the AM industry.
Named SPC Sonic Powder Conditioner, the new metal powder preparation system helps to perform various steps of the process under one unit. It effectively integrates three vacuum conveyors into one single sieving system.
Key features of the new powder preparation system
Metal powder preparation systems form a crucial part of the Additive Manufacturing industry as it ensure consistency in the quality of the 3D printed parts produced through its highly specific properties. The new SPC Sonic Powder Conditioner system can process both reactive and non-reactive metal powders as starting materials.
With the help of the SPC Sonic Powder Conditioner, 3D-printed parts’ manufacturers can seamlessly combine feeding, mixing, screening, weighing, filling and recirculation of metal powders.
Oerlikon AM Europe’s primary objective in designing the SPC Sonic Power Conditioner was to ensure automated reproducible results at a high-quality level, making the new powder preparation system adaptable to individual customer standards and requirements.
Oerlikon AM used Assonic’s patented Sonic Speed Screen technology as it is currently developing AlSiMg, titanium, IN718 and IN625 materials-based products which are highly oxidative, where the blending, mixing and screening are done under inert gas atmospheres.
Also, the Assonic technology enabled the creation of the highly sticky metal powder preparation. All other aluminum-based materials are problematic to use because of their high theology.
The Sonic Speed Screen technology utilizes ultrasonic and tapping excitations at the bottom of the screen for accurately screening the metal powders from 20 µm. The ultrasonic frequency is flexible and adaptable to fit into the sieve geometry.
The SPC powder feed options range from the vacuum conveyors to the wide-neck with the variant for Oerlikon being the first screening machine with three vacuum conveyors for material feed. The new powder preparation system is made versatile with features like quick screen frame replacement and easy height adjustment.
Other dynamic features of the new powder preparation system include programmable sieve programs where you can store recipes, and oxygen and humidity-detecting sensors. This ensured that the inert gas atmosphere was maintained using nitrogen or argon.
The Head of Technology at Oerlikon AM Europe, Ralph Mayer described the SPC Sonic Powder Conditioner as a system that can “blend and screen in one system and have full process control over the removal points“.
“I like that the SPC was implemented exactly to our specifications and delivered what we had hoped for“, Mayer added
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