Gas Flow Precision for Metal Additive Manufacturing

AlfaFlow is a solution for measuring the gas flow in the powder-bed chamber. This plug-and-play platform, compatible with all machine models, is meant to enable significantly higher levels of accuracy of the AM welding process resulting in superior production quality control.

AlfaFlow Overview

AlfaFlow gives you real-time visibility inside the process chamber

Metal Additive Manufacturing is an industrial production process where components are produced by combining layers of fine powder into high-quality products with little upfront cost. In this process, the gas flow is a critical factor affecting the quality and consistency of metal parts by preventing oxide inclusions on the surface and within parts, removing emissions that cause melt pool instabilities and keeping the build chamber clean by minimizing the build-up of ‘splashes’.

Magnitude addresses these uncertainties in Metal AM by delivering the most advanced gas characterization tool for process qualification and quality control, ensuring homogeneous properties for every material and allowing higher precision and synchronization of manufacturing parameters. AlfaFlow is the solution to lower uncertainty in final part quality and minimize scrap rates while saving time and reducing development costs, across the build area, over multiple builds, and machines.

Due to its significance, the lack of uniformity in the flow has severe consequences:
  • Mechanical properties are changed due to a laser focus shift
  • Weld splashed cause inclusions within and on the surface of parts
  • Part properties are dependent on the build location and between machines
  • Additional powder is consumed by the filter systems
Gas Flow Precision with AlfaFlow

Reliable gas flow measurement for process quality and repeatability

AlfaFlow addresses all of these challenges by providing users with full gas flow characterization across the platform. Sensor data coupled with our analytics software gives customers unprecedented insights into alloy property optimization while ensuring stable material properties for designers, repeatability across multiple systems and reduced powder consumption. More importantly, repeatable and reliable measurements of the gas flow are necessary for system qualification, alloy development, cost optimization and production quality control.

Features & benefits:
  • Full characterization of gas flow within the process chamber
  • Remove variations across systems in serial production
  • Improve material properties for qualification of critical applications
  • Enables successful material development
  • Reduces overall cost of R&D
Physical sensing capability to understand actual and real-time conditions inside the process chamber.
Proprietary algorithms analyse the data flowing directly from inside the process chamber to ensure production consistency across build location, production batches and machines.
AlfaFlow analyses the evolution of the machine’s state over time and across various alloys to ensure repeatability and reliability in the build process.
AlfaFlow impact areas

System Qualification

During system qualification, we take initial measurements to establish a system baseline for process operational qualification. These results are critical for performance or material characterization of critical components. Verifying the gas flow properties at this stage ensures the lowest variability and highest repeatability across the building platform and reduces the success of the qualification process at the first attempt.

Quality Control

During production, gas flow settings must be maintained during the build across the powder bed, independent of the evolution of the filtration system or machine settings. Challenges during production, such as splashes that affect the mechanical properties and surface finish are especially demanding of understanding the gas flow. Values need to be checked regularly or after maintenance, as well as when the machine systems, such as the filters, evolve over time.

R&D Activities

To obtain reliable R&D results, an organization must be able to understand the gas flow over a range of settings in order to ensure repeatable, non-turbulent and homogeneous flow for new materials. This becomes more significant when developing new alloys or application-specific solutions.

AlfaFlow is in beta and we are looking for commercial development partners.