Argon, Nitrogen and Helium for Powder Bed Based Additive Manufacturing

The optimal gas and supply concept for Laser Beam Melting

Laser beam melting is the most common additive manufacturing methods for metal pieces made of stainless steel, titanium aluminum, cobalt-chrome and nickel based alloys. The process uses an atmosphere comprised of an inert gas - typically argon or nitrogen. The gas reduces the amount of air components in the build chamber and protect the material for instance by preventing oxidation.

In addition the gas flow removes spatter and fumes effectively removed protecting the build chamber and optics from accumulation of dirt.

Learn more about: Laser Beam Melting

Selective Laser Melting

Chosing the right gas makes the difference

The choice for the optimal process gas depens on material and quality requirements. For processing titanium alloys argon is required. For other materials nitrogen can be a suitable and more economic alternative.

Scientific research has shown that both the gas used for powder production during gas atomization as well as the gas used during laser beam melting influence the microstructure of the final part. Hence, your quality requirements determine which gas to use.

If the gas supply is interrupted, there will typically be defects and the job needs to be redone. That is why a reliable and continuous gas supply is important.

Tailor-made solutions to realize a reliable, economic and future-proof gas supply

  • Design, provision and installation of gas supply including piping and hardware
  • Safety checks, training, gas safety equipment including oxygen monitoring systems
  • Storage Dry P powder cabinet for storing powder containers safely under inert gas atmosphere
  • Nitrogen generators - compact and cost-effective
  • Bundle supply of argon and nitrogen
  • Bulk supply of argon or nitrogen including monitoring of fill level and automatic refill

Electron Beam Melting (EBM)

Electron beam melting offers high build rates and is often used for medical and aviation parts. The process uses an electron beam as an energy source and operates under vacuum conditions at elevated temperatures. The use of minimal amounts of helium during the process prevents charging of powder particles. After the build process, a helium atmosphere allows both powder and final parts to cool down faster.