The AM printing process itself, if not properly characterized, can also be a source of a wide range of defects. For material extrusion techniques, an optimum balance needs to be found between scanning speed, laser or electron beam power (extrusion speed and temperature for wire) and bed thickness. To characterize the AM process and monitor witness samples during production and after finishing steps (heat treatment-HIP, milling and grinding/polishing), Bruker offers an unmatched suite of products for dimensional, chemical and mechanical testing and analysis.
Contamination of parts during printing can be an underappreciated issue. Diffusible hydrogen must be controlled to prevent hydrogen embrittlement of the printed part and residual argon content in the printed parts can impact down- stream processing steps. Bruker’s Inert Gas Fusion – Mass Spectrometry systems are critical tools to monitor H and Ar in your process.
Critical to the structural integrity, performance and fit of the final AM produced part are its bulk and surface properties. Bruker’s Micro Computed Tomography (µCT) 3D microscopy scanners provide quantitative identification of volume porosity, inclusions, cracks and printing defects in the bulk or on the surface and highlight differences between the as-printed part, post-machined part and the CAD model at internal and external surfaces.
X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analyzers are widely used in AM process development to identify causes of dimensional instability like austenitic phase transformations in ferrous alloys and to identify sources of residual stress. Compressive surface stress indicates long lifespan and tensile surface stress can lead to premature part failure.