In October 2021, engineering consultancy TWI approached Weiss Technik UK with an urgent request for a climatic test chamber to help them assess the influence of storage conditions, such as the effect of humidity and temperature, on Additive Manufacturing (AM) metal powders as part of the IUK funded Scalable AM Rule Creation and Dissemination (SAMRDC) project.
Over recent years, AM has become an increasingly popular application due to its economical and efficient processes. As this method of manufacturing is spreading across more and more industries, the SAMRDC project aims to assess the true environmental impact of AM and compare it to more conventional manufacturing processes.
The project also aims to develop and verify scalable digital tools to identify rules and standards that can help to reduce direct and indirect energy consumption and increase efficiency of both the production and materials produced. In turn, such tools should work to reduce energy consumption and present AM as a workable and sustainable production process.
The SAMRDC project aims to prove whether moving over to AM, or 3D printing, production processes actually helps to reduce the carbon footprint of this activity
- Karina Engel, Weiss Technik UK
Karina Engel of Weiss Technik UK helped to source a climatic test chamber for TWI at quick notice to allow the company to continue their research. Karina said: “The SAMRDC project aims to prove whether moving over to AM, or 3D printing, production processes actually helps to reduce the carbon footprint of this activity. As it stands, there has not been enough research in this area to support whether this claim is wholly true so this project seeks to answer this question."
As an integral part of this project, TWI needed to source a climatic test chamber for conditioning AM metal powders. These powders are typically gas atomised powders specially designed for AM, however, more research needs to be carried out on how storage conditions can affect component properties.
Weiss Technik was able to source and provide TWI with an affordable C1000,-70 model, which are similar to the climatic test chambers from our ClimeEvent range, so that the company could continue its programme of work for this project.
The test chamber provided is capable of simulating a wide variety of environmental conditions, including temperature and humidity ranges. The moisture content in metal powders can be increased, introduced or removed. Additionally, the climatic chamber allows for rigorous checking and regulation of testing parameters to ensure simulation conditions meet requirements.
The Climate Cabinet will be integrated into project lead partner Authentise’s end-to-end Additive Manufacturing Production System - Flows AM.