Nippon Gases Introduces AM Focused 3DPro Gas Product Line
Through its 3DPro product line, Nippon Gases, one of the world leaders in industrial and medical gases, now offers gases and equipment specifically for the additive manufacturing industry. Until now, Linde was the only major gas company to have made significant public steps in the field of additive manufacturing. However, other major gas players are also active and competition is intensifying.
On the recently launched website dedicated to 3DPro products, Nippon Gases points out that “3D printing is a multi-layered process and if during this process the surface oxidizes, then it remains attached to the product. It is precisely for this reason that these two pollutants must be reduced to a minimum because there is no chance of repairing the damage, which results in loss of product. These aspects are of fundamental importance when targeting the production of parts in large batches, where the ruin of an entire construction due to impurities can lead to significant financial losses.
The 3DPro offering includes the 3DPro Gas Line, 3DPro Dry Gas Tube, 3DPro Purifier, 3DPro Metal Cabinet, 3DPro Link and 3DPro Recirculation.
Nippon Gases’ 3DPro gas line includes nitrogen – commonly used for powder bed fusion (PBF) with materials such as stainless steel, argon – used for other types of materials, l Helium – used in the Electron Beam Melting (EBM) process and, although it is expensive to use for this process, it only consumes a small amount of gas and Sanarc H3 – a mixture of argon, nitrogen and a small percentage of hydrogen. Sanarc H3 is used exclusively for copper alloys, typically in the PBF printing process, and is required for binder jetting and bonded metal extrusion processes during sintering post-processing.
Nippon Gases’ 3DPro Dry Gas Tube provides three-layer protection against airborne impurities. The layers combine lightness, durability, toughness and heat resistance. 3DPro Link has been developed to help manage gas control while the 3DPro purifier consists of absorbent cartridges, installed in the gas inlet of the machine, which retain pollutants and prevent any risk of contamination in the line of distribution.
Nippon Gases developed the 3DPro cabinet as a solution to preserve metal powder from atmospheric contamination before the process. By eliminating the presence of oxygen and moisture, the process can be stabilized and standardized, thus protecting the metal powder and reducing the risk of defects in the final products.
Finally, the 3DPro Recirc is a recirculation purification system for PBF printing. The system is integrated into the 3D printer and removes impurities generated by the laser process, such as welding fumes and spatter, as well as oxygen and humidity derived from metal powders. Benefits include reduced purification time, lower gas consumption, and stabilization of the 3D printing process.