Thermo Scientific Explorer 4 Characterizes Metal Powders

The Explorer 4 system uses scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to measure and characterize metal powders for 3D printing.
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The Thermo Scientific Explorer 4 offers high-resolution imaging and elemental analysis capabilities via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to characterize powders use in additive manufacturing. The product is specifically designed to measure particle size, shape and composition in AM metal powders, and to inspect finished parts to assure quality.

The Explorer 4 Additive automatically and simultaneously analyzes particle size distribution, morphology and impurities, three of the most critical characteristics of powders used in powder-bed and powder-fed AM processes. SEM can measure the entire size range of AM powders with accuracy, the company says. Its resolution can distinguish subtle differences in shape that can greatly affect the flow and packing behavior of the powder.  Advanced energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectrometry provides fast, elemental analysis that can automatically identify impurities. Suspect particles can then be easily relocated for more detailed examination.

According to Thermo Scientific, the Explorer 4 Additive system’s ability to examine and classify large sets of particles, inclusions, voids and cracks within minutes enables the use of statistical process control techniques and permits faster responses to process excursions. Its high-resolution imaging and micro-analysis capabilities enable failure analysis and process engineers to quickly find the root causes of process and product failures.