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13. February 2019

HOSOKAWA ALPINE presents solutions for complex 3D printing

Precise and uniform processing of metal and polymer powders

HOSOKAWA ALPINE, one of the leading providers in the fields of process technology and film extrusion, will present solutions for 3D printing using the Contraplex wide-chamber mill CW II as well as the Turboplex ultrafine classifiers ATP and TSP at the POWTECH 2019. "The demands in the additive manufacturing sector are steadily rising. In order to do justice to this fact, we have improved and refined several HOSOKAWA ALPINE machines. We can thus offer our customers optimum solutions for the size reduction and classification of metal and polymer powders", says Sylvia Bräunlein, Operations Director of the Chemicals Division of HOSOKAWA ALPINE's process technology business segment.

HOSOKAWA ALPINE ultrafine classifier technology for metal powders in 3D printing
In the additive manufacturing of metal powders, a precise but homogeneous particle size distribution plays a decisive role. HOSOKAWA ALPINE has decades of experience in the development of classifying technologies for different branches. The proven ultrafine classifiers ATP and TSP permit flexible cut points in the range 5-150 μm, and dependent on the requirements, also as a classifying system without filter in circuit-gas mode. The refined TTSP classifier is the only machine on the market capable of realising two cut points for metal powders in one single machine. The top cut and dedusting are accomplished thereby in only one process step.

Ultrafine cryogenic grinding of polymer powders
Ultrafine grinding with an exact top cut as well as the dedusting step are the essential requirements when it comes to the 3D printing of polymer powders. "The Contraplex wide-chamber mill has proven itself in practical operation over many years. And we have now adapted the machine to meet the specific demands in 3D printing", explains Bräunlein. The CW II is characterised by the optimised grinding elements and temperature control, as the result of which the liquid nitrogen and energy consumption is reduced. Tumbler screening machines or air classifiers are employed to achieve the demanded particle size distribution. The latter, for example, dedust particles that are smaller than 10 – 20 μm and attain a top cut between 70 – 100 μm.