TÜV SÜD, a leading technical service corporation, has developed a new certification program allowing metal-powder manufacturers to prove the quality of its processes.
This program maps the key safety requirements detailed in Annex I in the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED)(2014/68/EU) and the German AD 2000 Code for materials, joining methods, personnel, and necessary qualification tests. This program was successfully executed with a pilot audit of Rosswag Engineering, a provider of open die forged products.
“In our certification program for metal-powder manufacturers, we have complemented the requirements of the PED and the W 0 leaflet with our expertise and experience in materials and welding technologies,” said Gunther Kuhn, Head of Product Management in the Plant Safety business unit of TÜV SÜD.
“The program provides us with an excellent basis for the reliable assessment and certification of metal-powder manufacturers.”
Rosswag and metal additive manufacturing
Metal powder for additive manufacturing are less plentiful as those used for conventional manufacturing procedures due to the relative newness of the technology. To meet the demand for industrial 3D printed metal parts, TÜV SÜD’s certification program has been implemented to assess the quality of materials from Rosswag Engineering.
Based in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Rosswag Engineering specializes in the manufacture of custom metal powders and 3D printed components produced in an integrated process chain. The company is also an internationally leading supplier of rolled rings and features a 7000-tonne material warehouse accommodating over 400 metallic materials for production.
Three years after its founding in 2014, in-house metal-powder manufacturing for the qualification of new materials was introduced to the company’s additive manufacturing division. This was enabled by the installation of two SLM Solution 280 3D printers. Gregor Graf, Engineering Manager at Rosswag GmbH, explained:
“The purchase of our own atomizing plant made by BluePower Casting Systems GmbH has enabled us to control the entire process chain and massively reduce the time needed for the qualification of new materials.”
Certifying metal powders
During the TÜV SÜD certification process, experts focused on the processes applied to the manufacturing, testing, and qualification of metal powder at Rosswag Engineering in an extensive on-site audit. In addition to quality assurance and traceability, this program also covers evidence of the production reliability of certain material groups and its suitability for industrial 3D printing.
“After completing the qualification process, we now have comprehensive data sets comprising metal powder characteristics and Powder Bed Fusion process parameters as well as mechanical and technological, chemical and metallographic material properties,” added Graf.
“The successful audit result confirms that we have full control of our processes and that our production of metal powders for use in additive manufacturing satisfies very high-quality standards.”
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Featured image shows metal powder. Photo via TÜV SÜD.