Collaborators Publish Overview of Disposal Procedures for Powder Condensate

Sintavia partners with the AMGTA and Triumvirate Environmental Inc. to publish overview of proper handling procedures for powder condensate waste generated as part of the PBF additive manufacturing process.
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Sintavia LLC, a designer and 3D printer of a new generation of flight and launch components, has published an overview of proper handling procedures for powder condensate waste generated as part of the powder bed fusion (PBF) additive manufacturing (AM) process. The paper, “Overview of Disposal Procedures for Powder Condensate,” was written by Ashley Wallace, Sintavia’s quality & EHS engineer, in collaboration with the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) and Triumvirate Environmental.

Powder condensate is the term used to describe solidified particles resulting from the evaporation of metal alloys during the PBF AM process. This condensate, which is a waste stream unique to AM, is either deposited into a collection chamber within the AM printer (considered to be “dry” condensate) or wet-vacuumed out of the build chamber itself (considered, along with melt spatter contemporaneously removed, to be “wet” condensate). Both wet and dry condensate may be hazardous and must be disposed of pursuant to applicable environmental regulations.

As metal AM production continues to grow, high-volume manufacturers increasingly need to allocate proper resources for the safe disposal of this powder condensate waste stream. In order to do so, powder condensate should be classified as a separate waste stream and documented appropriately with cost-effective methods for its disposal, according to the paper’s authors. The paper discusses the procedures used in the U.S. for analyzing and disposing of condensate from the PBF process, and provides a real-world example of how one high-volume manufacturer handles this disposal.

“Knowing where each condensate stream is going is just as important as the proper preparation of each type of waste,” Wallace says. “We have worked with Triumvirate Environmental and other experts within the industry to manage the final disposal of these streams according to regulatory requirements.”

The full paper is available to AMGTA member companies, other industry stakeholders and the general public on the AMGTA.org website.