J. Walter
T. Griemsmann
M. Hustedt
C. Hoff
J. Hermsdorf
S. Kaierle

Safety during handling of metal powders in the course of additive manufacturing: Risk assessment along the entire process chain

Proc. Lasers in Manufacturing (LiM)
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (non-reviewed)
Laser powder-bed fusion is a well-known additive manufacturing variant with metallic powder. Considerable risks connected with such powder-bed processes result from the particulate nature of the raw material and from the laser-material interaction, generating respirable nanoparticles. While laser processing in closed machines is assessed as safe, preparation and post-processing of construction jobs entail an intensive contact of the operators with powders and process emission redeposits. This increases the risk of spreading hazardous substances in offices, lounges, restrooms, staircases, etc. To evaluate contamination and carry-over, the employees’ exposure to hazardous substances, not only released into the air at the workplace, but also deposited on surfaces, is determined by workplace measurements for all steps of the additive manufacturing process chain. Amongst others, samples taken are analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Correlated with relevant assessment standards, the results shall help to derive standardized working methods for laser powder-bed fusion processes.