The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), a global trade organization created to promote the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing, has issued a report outlining the requirements to passivate metal powder condensate waste for transport and recycling. The new process, which was developed by AMGTA member, Sintavia, and KBM Advanced Materials, involves mixing powder condensate waste with a removable resin, supplied by KBM, utilizing KBM’s patent-pending process (instead of Sintavia’s current process, which uses silicon oil and sand), which renders the waste non-hazardous and shippable to a recycling plant (in this case – KBM).
Upon receipt of the passivated powder, KBM will then separate the resin from the metal powder, rendering the condensate suitable as a raw material to produce new metal products or powders.
“Today’s report is a must-read for any company involved in laser powder bed fusion metal additive manufacturing,” said Sherri Monroe, the AMGTA’s Executive Director. “Not only does this new process reduce transportation costs, but it is also reversible, meaning that metal recycling companies can have unsoiled access to the underlying powder once it is received – thus allowing for the potential to recycle waste material that previously had to be put in a hazardous waste landfill.”
“I hope that other companies adopt this new process, as it will reduce their transportation costs since the underlying material is no longer hazardous,” said Brian Neff, the AMGTA’s Board Chair and CEO of Sintavia. “This report is an excellent example of the AMGTA taking a leadership role in developing sustainable use practices for additive manufacturing.”
Metal condensate, which is the term used for excess soot and powder that is blown off of a build plate during the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process, had previously been treated as a hazardous material and disposed of as such at a very high cost.
The report can be found at this link.