With additive manufacturing powders, the ability to properly characterize them for a specific additive manufacturing process is key to a successful build. To help make this characterization easier, Thermo Fisher Scientific offers its Thermo Scientific Explorer 4 Additive scanning electron microscope (SEM). The microscope delivers high-resolution imaging and elemental analysis capabilities to characterize the powders. It measures particle size, shape and composition in AM metal powders, and can also be used to inspect finished parts for quality.
Said Trisha Rice, vice president and general manager, materials science, Thermo Fisher Scientific, “The Explorer 4 Additive provides critical visibility into these processes, which may lead to better understanding, tighter control, improved yields and higher quality.”
The Explorer 4 Additive automatically and simultaneously analyzes three of the most critical characteristics of powders used in powder-bed and powder-fed AM processes:
- Particle size distribution – SEM can measure the entire size range of AM powders with high accuracy.
- Morphology – SEM has the resolution needed to distinguish subtle differences in shape that can affect the flow and packing behavior of the powder.
- Impurities detection – Advanced energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectrometry provides fast, elemental analysis that can automatically identify impurities. Suspect particles can then be easily relocated for more detailed examination.
The Explorer 4 Additive system can examine and classify large sets of particles, inclusions, voids and cracks in minutes, which allows the use of statistical process control techniques and permits faster responses to process excursions. These features help engineers find the root causes of process and product failures quickly.
Thermo Fisher Scientific