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As with other traditional methods of prototyping and manufacturing metal parts, the proper gas atmosphere is critical for producing quality products. Nitrogen and argon are commonly used to provide inert atmospheres during additive manufacturing. It is important to use the correct flow rate and purge duration to avoid deformed parts and ensure a safe production environment. For example, high oxygen content in the atmosphere will result in oxidation of the powder metal, leading to poor part quality, clumping in the powder feed, or high porosity in the end product. It will also reduce the amount of recyclable powder for future use. Inerting is also critical for proper management of the combustible dust arising from the powder metal and printing process. Post treatments after printing may require industrial gases, depending on the application.
Air Products offers industrial gases, gas atmospheres, equipment and technical support to help improve product quality, reduce operating costs and increase productivity. Please call us to assist you with your next 3D printing masterpiece at 0800 389 0202.
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