3D Metal Printing

3D metal printing, additive manufacturing, requires the selective laser melting of powdered metals and alloys to progressively build up, “print” a 3D structure. For the aerospace and medical device markets powdered aluminium and titanium alloys are used which are air sensitive. An inert argon atmosphere is required to ensure no oxidation or nitridation of the printed component. The flow of the argon purge gas is typically controlled to give about 10ppm oxygen, 40ppm nitrogen, impurity concentration in the working area to maintain contamination in the printed component within specification. In addition these low levels of air contaminants also required for the multiple recycle of the unused metal powders to practically 100%.

A standalone NitroØ system can remove all of the air gas contamination to better than 10ppm including nitrogen. The system can remove nitrogen at the 2,500ppm level allowing recycle during the initial high flow purge prior to printing and shortening the time to print start.