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Transforming tomorrow’s powder metallurgy industries through powder characterisation and testing services

Publication Date: 
Friday, December 17, 2021

The CSIR powder characterisation facility

For producers of materials and components made from metal powders, identification of key powder characteristics for specific process conditions may enable these end-users to specify powder requirements, potentially reducing raw material cost and waste.

The CSIR powder characterisation facility

For producers of materials and components made from metal powders, identification of key powder characteristics for specific process conditions may enable these end-users to specify powder requirements, potentially reducing raw material cost and waste.

The CSIR powder characterisation facility is accredited to International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/IEC17025-2017 quality system standards and offers critical powder characterisation and analysis in accordance with internationally recognised standards, including the American Society for Testing and Materials and ISO specifications.

The powder characterisation facility offers unique and broad heat-treatment and metallographic capabilities to serve customers in diverse manufacturing operations.

The facility takes a standardised approach to the testing, qualification and certification of powder and powder metallurgy processes. This is an integral part of industrial additive manufacturing, and primarily enhances powder metallurgy processes, and qualifies them into the category of classical manufacturing.

It hosts testing equipment that allows for chemical composition analysis, powder sieve analysis, particle size distribution, flow rate, apparent density, tap density, and gas pycnometry, a method of measuring the volume of an irregularly shaped solid object.

Multidisciplinary experts from all over the country currently use the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS)-accredited facility for its array of capabilities, from standard high-volume testing to complex materials analysis and in-depth granular dynamics investigations. The results from these procedures benefit a host of industries, including powder production, aerospace, military, nuclear and medical industries.
 

Powder characterisation facility capabilities

  • Particle size and shape analysis, SANAS-accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard inductively coupled plasma trace elements analysis
  • Oxygen and nitrogen analysis, SANAS-accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard
  • Skeletal density, SANAS-accredited differential scanning caloremeter analysis
     

With the advent of metal powder additive manufacturing, the facility offers customers access to one of the nation’s newest and most remarkable testing platforms. This facility supports universities and national initiatives such as the CSIR Photonics Prototyping Facility and the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing, which is housed by the Central University of Technology.