Recycled powder use is cost-effective for additive manufacturing
A recent study shows the possibility of reusing aluminum alloy powder as part of a cost-effective additive manufacturing process.
Recently, Ahmed Maamoun, a PhD candidate from the Additive Manufacturing Research Group at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON, Canada) led by Prof. Mohamed Elbestawi, reported a comprehensive study that shows the possibility of reusing aluminum alloy (AlSi10Mg) powder to be part of a cost-effective additive manufacturing process using the selective laser melting technique.
The recycled powder was reused for 18 previous builds after providing proper recycling procedures. The powder characterization results showed similar properties between both fresh and recycled powders, and there was no loss in the quality of parts fabricated using the recycled powder. The research group also presented a developed map of thermal post-processing of the as-built parts, which illustrates the microstructure improvement under specific conditions with a variety of selection for the desired mechanical properties. This work has a significant impact on the production cost reduction of each product by hundreds of dollars, in addition to obtaining high-quality material properties after thermal post-processing.
For more information, please contact Maamoun at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.eng.mcmaster.ca and www.eng.mcmaster.ca/spotlight/research/additive-manufacturing-research-group.