Linde LLC will showcase three new technologies to improve the quality of metal additive manufacturing at RAPID + TCT 2018 in Texas next month.

Now in its 28th year, RAPID + TCT is a leading forum for ideas and showcase of technology in the still growing and ever-evolving world of 3D printing. For users and suppliers alike, the event will be the premier destination for those who provide technology and for those who need to understand, explore and adopt 3D printing, additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection technologies.

Linde collaborates with universities and manufacturers, such as Airbus Group Innovations, to improve Additive Manufacturing processes. In addition, Linde opened an Additive Manufacturing global R&D Center near Munich in 2016, where the laboratory is focusing on the effect of atmospheric gases and gas mixtures on metal powders to optimize layering processes during 3D printing.

The technologies to be showcased include the following:

Incoming Quality: High-end Additive Manufacturing depends not only on the incoming quality of metal powders, but also on storage conditions of sensitive powder metals such as aluminum or titanium alloys before use. The ADDvance® powder cabinet purges the storage atmosphere with inert gas, while tightly controlling temperature and humidity.

3D Process Quality: Unwanted gases can enter an AM chamber in several ways – through insufficient purging, loose supply connections, or through the powder metal itself. The Linde ADDvance O2 precision atmosphere monitoring system precisely controls O2 and humidity levels by continuously analyzing the powder chamber atmosphere. The portable unit is ideal for powder-bed laser fusion processes.

Finish Quality: Surface oxides, unfused powders, or other residues need to be removed from AM parts prior to further processing or surface finishing. Linde ADDvance Cryoclean cleaning technology uses CO2 snow plus blasting abrasives to remove difficult residues cost-effectively and without water.

“Reproducible quality is the ultimate goal of additive manufacturing,” said Grzegorz Moroz, Program Manager of Metals at Linde LLC. “Variations in processes and materials can impact part quality and performance, so Linde works with manufacturers of aerospace, automotive and medical components to reduce or eliminate variations at every step. These industries demand documented consistency in AM processes, and Linde offers gas-based technologies and know-how to help meet strict quality requirements.”

RAPID + TCT will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Centre in Fort Worth from 23rd to 26th April.