Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, will feature its innovative ADDvance® powder cabinet at the leading trade for additive manufacturing (AM) and the next generation of intelligent manufacturing solutions next week.

Held from 13th to 16th November at Messe Frankfurt, Germany, FORMNEXT focuses on the efficient realisation of parts and products, from their design to serial production. It shows the future of innovative manufacturing.

Linde’s ADDvance powder cabinet has been designed to retain the quality of the valuable, sensitive metal powders used in AM by protecting them from exposure to ambient air and humidity.

The quality of metal powder has fundamental impact on the microstructure and physical properties of the printed item, so they must be of a defined and consistent quality, meaning that correct storage and handling is vital.

Metal powders are typically stored in containers or closed cabinets in the vicinity of the printer until needed. However, with each opening of the vessel, ambient air and humidity is allowed to enter, affecting the chemical and physical characteristics of the powder and causing it to age.

This can result in degradation of the powder and increased porosity, ultimately reducing tensile strength, heat tolerance and impact and corrosion resistance.

When stored in typical cabinets, metal powders can also react with the atmosphere within the cabinet itself. Even if the cabinet is purged, ambient air and humidity flow in each time the doors are opened resulting in contamination and degradation.

With the innovative ADDvance powder cabinet, Linde has developed an innovative solution to resolving this storage challenge.

The powder cabinet works with a moisture control and monitoring unit to continuously measure humidity levels, triggering a high-volume purge gas flow as soon as the doors are closed to rapidly remove moisture in the air. It then applies a lower stream of gas to ensure a consistently low level of humidity.

“Linde has long been a pioneer in developing innovative gas technologies, delivering productivity and economic benefits across a wide range of industry applications”, said Pierre Forêt, Senior Expert Additive Manufacturing, Linde. “Our new ADDvance powder cabinet will optimise storage of high value AM powders and mitigate wastage.”