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Customer Spotlight: Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences

The Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences is using an inductar® CS cube and inductar® ONH cube to define the chemical composition of metal powders used for additive manufacturing

The Applied Laser and Photonics Group (AG alp) is implemented into the Faculty of Engineering Sciences of the University of Applied Sciences in Aschaffenburg, Germany. The working group AG alp offers optimal possibilities to expand their practical knowledge in laser technology, optoelectronics, and photonics for all students from various degrees, such as electrical engineering, mechatronics, and industrial engineering.

The working group is known for excellent and practice-oriented interdisciplinary research on laser technology, photonics, and additive manufacturing. A variety of modern labs that belong to the working group are available for all lab related tasks in research and development projects, theses, but of course also for practical lecture supporting experiences.

Within the center of scientific service and transfer (ZeWiS), which belongs to the University of Applied Sciences, in Obernburg/Main the AG alp is represented through the laser application center (LAZ), the center for additive manufacturing (ZAF), and the Open Innovation Lab (OIL). These practical centers of excellence ensure the close connection and collaboration of the AG alp to industrial companies and other research institutions.

inductar CS cube at the Aschaffenburg Universtiy of Applied Sciences

Amongst others the working group uses two inorganic elemental analyzers of the inductar® series within the research area “additive manufacturing” to define the exact chemical composition of the metal powders used and thus to draw conclusions on the properties of both powder and printed part and the needed process parameters. In the end, this research leads to a more sustainable usage of the available resources. The powder quality is of immense importance when using selective laser melting (SLM) processes for additively manufactured parts. During a print job only the minority of powder (often less than 10 %) in the printing chamber is really being used for building the actual part which automatically means that the rest of the powder remains unused. This unused powder could be used for the next print job, given that the powder quality and composition has not been affected by the prior printing process. Mechanical impurities such as oversize particles can be removed by simply sieving steps. However, incorrect storage, incorrect handling or also frequent recycling of powder can also massively decrease the powders’ quality. Typically, moisture, (surface) oxidation, sulfur impurities or nitration are responsible for a decreased powder quality. This influence can be detected using the inductar® CS cube for detecting traces of carbon and sulfur and using the inductar® ONH cube detecting traces of oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen. This means that by using inorganic elemental analysis a statement about whether a recycled powder can still be used or not can clearly and quickly be made. A decision must not be based on estimations and experience anymore, but analytical results support the decisions. Hence, the inductar analyzers increase the potential to drastically lower the amount of powder having to be disposed. This not only reduced the process costs and costs/part for additively manufactured parts, but very importantly helps to conserve the environment.

Speaking about AG alp's experience of working with elemental analyzers from Elementar, Dr.-Ing. Benedikt Adelmann, Head of Additive Manufacturing and Laser material processing - Macro, said:

The inductar CS cube and inductar ONH cube analyzer open up completely new research areas and the results obtained lead to new ideas. Due to the intuitive handling of both analyzers they can also be easily operated by our graduate students, so that students can get involved in current research topics.

About the Applied Laser and Photonics Group of the University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg

The Applied Laser and Photonics Group of the University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg is known for practice-oriented and interdisciplinary research on laser technology, photonics, and additive manufacturing. A variety of modern labs that belong to the working group are available for all lab related tasks in research and development projects, theses, but of course also for practical lecture supporting experiences.

Instrumentation installed:

inductar® CS cube

inductar® OHN cube

Address:

Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences
alp - applied laser and photonics group
Würzburger Straße 45
63743 Aschaffenburg

Contact details:

Email: Benedikt.Adelmann@th-ab.de
Website: www.alp-aschaffenburg.de

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