BOFA Americas Develops Atmosphere Management and Filtration Technology for Metal Additive Manufacturing

The global company specializing in fume extraction and filtration BOFA International has developed a new solution that would make filter replacement in metal additive manufacturing processes safer, faster and better for productivity. The solution the company unveiled last year was the 3DPRO HT printingdesigned for 3D printing of polymers.

The new atmosphere management and filtration technology is a self-contained system called AM 400. It features a unique filter exchange mechanism that ensures that filters that remove potentially hazardous particles from metal additive manufacturing can be exchanged on site without the risk of a thermal event.

Taking the example of the laser powder bed fusion processes with which the system is compatible, the company explains that they must operate in an inert atmosphere because the materials worked risk inducing a thermal event if they come into contact with oxygen. As a result, when filters need to be replaced in these systems, until now equipment had to be shut down and moved to a safe area for saturated filters to be replaced by operators wearing full PPE.

With atmosphere management and filtration system AM 400 from BOFA, the filters are contained in a separate housing with a robust seal, which allows replacement to be carried out quickly and safely without isolating the equipment.

Katrina ClemensCEO of BOFA Americas, Inc commented, “ This innovation in the design of the extraction system will support the productivity goals of companies involved in metal additive manufacturing. This production process is used across multiple industrial sectors to create high-value components and products, and by allowing for easier filter exchange, end users could potentially benefit from reduced downtime, which means better productivity. »

The extraction system AM 400 has been developed specifically with and for the metal additive manufacturing market, offering high airflow potential up to a maximum flow of 190 CFM and a maximum operating pressure of 250 mBar, with low leakage at <30ml/min @ -10mBar.

In addition to improving the efficiency of filter exchanges, users of the AM 400 filtration system will also benefit from patented innovations that optimize filter performance, allowing operators to monitor filter status and coordinate exchanges in based on maintenance schedules.

According to Katrina Clemens, the AM 400 solution marks a significant advance in extraction technology for metal additive manufacturing and is an important part of a manufacturer’s overall work environment strategy, while helping to preserve the product quality and potential value-added productivity gains.

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