The Influence of Metal 3D Printing Process Chain on the Properties of TC4 Powder
Oil futures tumbled more than $5 a barrel on news that the Biden administration is considering releasing about 1 million barrels a day from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for several months to cool surging crude prices.
Brent crude futures were down $4.71, or 4.2 percent, at $108.58 a barrel by 0035 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell $5.45, or 5 percent, to $102.74 a barrel.
At an earlier time, gasoline prices had already reached record levels because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The prices of other commodities like the Ti6Al4V powder are also expected to be volatile.
In the powder bed laser melting technology, from the production,
transportation, storage, printing and recycling of materials, the powder has
been under a variety of mechanical and atmospheric environments throughout the
process chain, the chemical composition and shape of the powder particles, and
the entire process. The characteristics of powder materials may be affected by
factors such as the atmosphere, temperature, humidity, and external forces. This
article discusses the potentially important influencing factors of TC4 powder in
the entire process. The research results can be used in other powder processing
and management to ensure the quality of the material throughout the service life
and make the SLM process more robust and reliable.
In order to evaluate the characteristics and batch stability of the powder,
the same specifications and two batches produced by TC4-Ti6Al4V(level 5) three
different processes (gas atomization EIGA, plasma atomization PA, inductively
coupled plasma atomization ICPA) were studied. For powders, the particle size
distribution, particle morphology and fluidity of these powders were
The results show that the sizes of the three powder particles are between
15-65 microns, with a Gaussian distribution, but the PA and ICPA powders show a
wider particle size distribution compared with the EIGA powder. The flow time
measured by the Hall flowmeter is in the range of 14.6s-16.1s, indicating that
all powders and batches have good flowability. Electron microscopy results show
that the three powders have high spherical shapes, but the EIGA powder particles
are slightly elongated, while the ICPA powder contains a lot of satellite
In order to study whether argon protection is required during powder storage,
two powder containers were stored under the same conditions of 30°C and 30%
relative humidity. One container has been stored intact, and the protective
atmosphere of the other container is destroyed by one opening process. After a
storage period of ten days, samples for mechanical testing and elemental
measurement were prepared.
The results of the tensile test show that the ultimate tensile strength of
the sample is basically the same in a protective atmosphere and an unprotected
atmosphere; the powder stored in a humid environment has the highest ultimate
strength, which is slightly higher than that of the dry powder printed sample
5%, and the elongation rate dropped severely. Gas content measurement confirmed
that in a humid environment, the oxygen content of the sample is about 10%
higher than that in a dry environment, which leads to material
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Gas supplies have been in short supply because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Combined with the situation that other renewable sources cannot produce enough electricity, electricity prices have soared in many parts all over the world. For this reason, I assume the supply and prices of the Ti6Al4V powder would keep being influenced by the high energy prices.