The new ASTM standards will be useful to users interested in the properties of metal 3D printing powders but are unsure how to apply existing metal powder and similar material standards to them.
ATSM is an international standards organisation that creates and publishes technical standards for a variety of manufacturing and testing materials, products, systems and workflows. The standards include specifications that define how something is classified, the methods and precision of test workflows and the optimal method of analysing data. While the standards are voluntary, material manufacturers are encouraged to comply with them by customers and consumers lack of willingness to explore new materials, technologies and techniques if the quality and consistency of product is unknown.
ASTM F3049 is the standard guide for characterizing properties of metal powders used for additive manufacturing processes. The standards will determine the specific properties of the metal powders so accurate predictions of the results of 3D printing with them can be easily defined. This will help manufacturers make more informed choices when selecting materials, and help produce safer products that will perform as intended.
Additionally the ASTM is working on creating a companion set of standards for the mechanical properties of 3D printed metal parts.
Parts and components 3D printed using metal powders are common in the automotive and aerospace industries, but they are also increasingly being used in high quality medical implants and circuit boards. By applying a set of standards to these materials and parts the ASTM is providing yet more proof that 3D printing is here to stay and is now just another part of the industrial manufacturing process.