In the 1800s, welders decided they would continuously layer material instead of subtracting material through machining as a new way to create more intricate small parts. In the recent years however, new technologies that allow for mass production and intricate metal designs, have inspired a movement towards a new trend of this “additive manufacturing” method in order to create industrial products, especially in the aerospace and automotive industries.
The process has a lot of positives over the current standard which has been coined “subtractive” manufacturing. By layering material to create a part, you can create more intricate parts in a considerably shorter time- without sacrificing quality or strength.
With the new technology exceeding limitations, there is no sign that the additive manufacturing market is slowing down. Industrial gas innovations have played a huge role in the explosion of the new market place.
Specifically in the production of the powder, inerting the atmosphere with argon or nitrogen is essential to ensuring that particles are the correct size and shape. Inserting other types of gases such as carbon dioxide or helium can help create special alloys as the finished product.
Industrial gases play a critical role in the additive manufacturing processes - Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Laser Metal Fusion (LMF). Argon, nitrogen, process oxygen and humidity content control are critical to achieve component quality. Heating and energy are required when melting the parts together which can be created by nitrogen thermal spraying and argon/helium laser melting.
The additive manufacturing market will continue to grow at an exponential rate. More and more automotive, aerospace, medical device and other industrial parts are being shifted to being created by the 3D layering process. Industrial gas innovations will play a large role in ensuring the growth of this market.
Learn more about new developments in additive manufacturing processes and powder metallurgy by watching our video or leave a comment and let us answer your questions.