Research Project

METPAM: Production of metal powder for additive manufacturing

Bed-based techniques for 3D-printing using thin layers of metal powder allow for the production of components with complex designs. While the metal 3D-printer technology is relatively matured, flexible production of metal powder on a small scale is lagging behind. Currently, production of metal powders by gas atomization takes place in bulk, significantly reducing the feasibility of producing small batches of experimental alloys and therefore not meeting various 3D-printing demands.
This project is directed towards the design and use of an atomizer able to produce small quantities of affordable and high quality powder for a bed-based metal printer. This will be done by developing a comprehensive computational model of the gas atomization process. The focus will lie on the modeling of melt breakup phenomena and the tuning of powder properties with control parameters. As part of the study, an experimental setup will be created based on the model design. To complete the design cycle, the produced metal powders will be used for the production of a 3D-printed part.  Additive manufacturing perspective will play a leading role in the design of the atomizer, which is emphasized by collaboration with companies from the industry, such as Space XYZ, and the Mechanics of Materials research group. 

People involved: Niels Deen, Giulia Finotello, Joris Remmers, Dennis Thuy

Project start/end date: 01-10-2021 -> 30-09-2025