Rheological Investigations of Metal-Melts for Additive Manufacturing
In this application report the application of rheology for metal industry, especially the industry producing metal powder for additive manufacturing, is shown. Besides other physical properties, viscosity is a crucial value for the gas atomization process and influences the processability of the material and thereby the quality of the final product. Rheology on metal melts is quite new due to a previous lack of existing measurement devices. The Furnace Rheometer Systems (FRS) from Anton Paar now offer the possibility to measure viscosity of metal melts down to viscosities of 1 mPa.s which is unique and helps the metal industry to better understand their material and improve their processes.
Additive manufacturing is one of the most promising technology trends for multiple industries. The ability to produce parts near the net shape of the final product without material waste in combination with completely new possibilities for product designers and engineers to develop and produce highly complex and functional parts lets industry experts call this technology revolutionary. Especially additive manufacturing of metal parts bears huge potentials for industries like the automotive or aviation industry.
The process that is most commonly used for 3D printing of metal parts is called Selective Laser Melting (SLM). A laser beam selectively melts metal material that is represented in the form of a fine metal powder. This powder is fully molten during this process which leads to a full consolidation of the powder material, reaching almost 100% material density. The final product is then built up layer by layer.
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