Standardization News

Additive Manufacturing Standards Help Meet Customer Needs

By: 
Additive Industries

Additive Industries is an international company based in The Netherlands with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore. Providing solutions for additive manufacturing (AM), we manufacture a system that performs laser beam powder bed
fusion (LB-PBF). 

Called the MetalFAB1, this LB-PBF system is unlike manually operated machines, as the system operator connects a powder loader at one end of the system and 3D-printed metal parts come out the other end in assembly-line fashion. The reduced labor costs associated with the system make it very cost-effective for printing high-quality metal parts via LB-PBF, one of the many terms defined for AM in the standard terminology for additive manufacturing (ISO/ASTM 52900). 

As an engineering and hardware solutions provider, Additive Industries relies on ASTM International standards to facilitate clear transactions between us and our supply chain. For our metal powder suppliers, we flow down powder specifications that require compliance with ASTM powder particle size distribution standards such as: 

  • Test method for sieve analysis of metal powders (B214),
  • Test method for particle size distribution of metal powders and related compounds by light scattering (B822), and 
  • Test methods for flow rate of metal powders using the hall flowmeter funnel (B213). 

These standards fall under the guide for characterizing properties of metal powders used for additive manufacturing processes (F3049). 

There are also a number of other ASTM standards for characterizing the chemical composition of the many powder alloys we sell. (See sidebar, Tests Related to Chemical Composition.)

MetalFAB1 systems are sold into safety-critical industries such as manned space flight, aerospace, and healthcare,
where the failure of a 3D-printed part can lead to injury or death. It is essential that the consolidated material produced by the LB-PBF process meets rigorous standards for strength, corrosion resistance, and dimensional accuracy. This is why Additive Industries relies on ASTM International standards for minimum material requirements for 3D printed materials. (See sidebar, Materials Properties and
Requirements Standards.)

In addition to defined physical material requirements, parts made by LB-PBF typically require thermal post processing, such as hot isostatic pressing and heat treatments. These are done in accordance with the specification for thermal post-processing metal parts made via powder bed fusion (F3301).

The LB-PBF process relies on critical parameters such as laser power and laser-scan speed to achieve the desired material properties in the consolidated material. These parameters are computer controlled by MetalFAB1 system architecture. It is essential to the process that system and subsystem calibrations are carried out in such a way as to create a repeatable and reliable process that meets the requirements for our demanding customers. 

Additive Industries uses the acceptance tests for laser metal powder-bed fusion machines for metallic materials for aerospace applications (ISO/ASTM 52941) to guarantee the MetalFAB1 meets all the requirements for the space and aviation sectors. By complying with this standard, we can provide an “aerospace certified” system that can be audited by a third party and that can drive the requirements of the factory and site-acceptance testing. Once the system is calibrated and meets the hardware/software requirements, the PBF process itself is controlled through strict protocols established in compliance with the practice for metal powder bed fusion process to meet critical applications (ISO/ASTM 52904).
Finally, to ensure the entire process meets strict work instructions, the personnel training requirements are designed to meet qualifying machine operators of laser metal powder bed fusion machines and equipment
used in aerospace applications (ISO/ASTM 52942).

Producing safety-critical hardware with our MetalFAB1 system requires that processes and parts are qualified to rigorous standards. During this IQ-OQ-PQ (installation qualification, operational qualification, performance qualification) journey, the material properties of test specimens and reference parts need to be tested according to standards. 

These test specimens typically conform to ASTM standards for both static and dynamic properties. Data are reported in accordance with the practice for reporting data for test specimens prepared by additive manufacturing (F2971), which is necessary due to the unique nature of the LB-PBF process compared to traditional metal alloy production methods. 

Additive Industries is a leader in the LB-PBF industry, bringing high-productivity, cost-effective systems to the market. We are able to meet the needs of our demanding customers by using ASTM standards, which affect every aspect of our operations and our customer relationships. Compliance with ASTM International standards has helped to fuel our growth and penetration into highly regulated, difficult markets. ■

Company Snapshot

  • Company Headquarters: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Description: Additive Industries is a 3D metal printer/manufacturer for high-quality metal parts, offering a system specifically aimed at high-end and demanding industrial markets. With class-leading build volume and robustness as well as productivity, Additive Industries redefines the business case for aerospace, automotive, energy, and high-tech equipment. Additive Industries has demo and service centers in the United States, United Kingdom, and
  • Singapore and is a global player in large-volume metal-printing systems.
  • Number of staff: 110 worldwide (excluding working students)
  • Trading area: Global

Materials Properties and Requirements Standards

  • Specification for Additive Manufacturing Nickel Alloy (UNS N07718) with Powder Bed Fusion (F3055)
  • Specification for Additive Manufacturing Nickel Alloy (UNS N06625) with Powder Bed Fusion (F3056)
  • Specification for Additive Manufacturing Stainless Steel Alloy (UNS S31603) with Powder Bed Fusion (F3184)
  • Additive Manufacturing — Finished Part Properties — Standard Specification for Cobalt-28 Chromium-6 Molybdenum via Powder Bed Fusion (F3213)
  • Additive Manufacturing — Finished Part Properties — Standard Specification for Titanium Alloys via Powder Bed Fusion (F3302)
  • Additive Manufacturing — Finished Part Properties — Specification for AlSi10Mg with Powder Bed Fusion — Laser Beam (F3318)

Tests Related to Chemical Composition

  • Test Method for Analysis of Titanium Alloys by Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (E539)
  • Test Method for Determination of Oxygen and Nitrogen in Titanium and Titanium Alloys by Inert Gas Fusion (E1409)
  • Test Method for Determination of Carbon in Refractory and Reactive Metals and Their Alloys by Combustion Analysis (E1941)

Industry Sectors:

Issue Month: 
May/June
Issue Year: 
2021
COMMITTEE: 
B09
F42