AM Americas Exhibitor Spotlight Series: Freeman Technology

An FT4 Powder Rheometer

AM Shows and Disruptive Magazine have decided to join forces in the lead up to Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017 and bring you the Exhibitor Spotlight series. This is an opportunity for exhibitors to fill you in on the products and services they intend to showcase at the event as well as share their views on the future of industrial 3D printing/additive manufacturing (AM). If you like what you read, all the more reason to come meet them on December 6-8, in Pasadena, USA.

Name and job title: Gemma Denslow, marketing executive
Address: PO Box 2022, Wayne, Pennsylvania, 19399, USA
Phone number: +1 718 358 2058
Website: www.freemantech.co.uk / Email: info@freemantechinc.com
Social media: Facebook * LinkedIn  * Twitter * YouTube
Company description: Freeman Technology provides systems for the measurement of powder flow properties. With a strong process focus and significant commitment to R&D and applications development, the company provides comprehensive support alongside its range of products. Expert teams guide and support users in addressing specific powder challenges.

What products and/or services will you be showcasing at Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017?
The FT4 Powder Rheometer from Freeman Technology is a universal powder tester. It uses patented dynamic methodology, a fully automated shear cell (ASTM D78911) and several bulk property tests—including density, compressibility and permeability—to quantify powder properties in terms of flow and processability.

FT4 Powder Rheometers are installed around the world in a diverse range of industries including chemical, pharmaceutical, toners, foods, powder coatings, metals, ceramics, cosmetics and many others. They deliver data that maximize process and product understanding, accelerating R&D and formulation towards successful commercialization and supporting the long-term optimization of powder processes.

What influenced your decision to exhibit at Additive Manufacturing Americas 2017?
In the last few years, AM has been a rapidly growing sector for our technology. We are always looking for opportunities to introduce the benefits of our approach to powder characterization to new audiences.

What do you consider to be the key potential for OEMs adopting or optimizing the use of 3D printing/AM and advanced design and manufacturing technologies, and how is your company positioning itself to realize this potential?
3D printing/AM delivers obvious benefits in terms of flexible design and manufacture of one-off and/or complex parts. However, it can be wasteful with much of the feedstock not used in the final part so one of the ways manufacturers can optimise 3D printing/AM is via reuse of materials. Our technology allows users to determine the properties of materials that are conducive to successful manufacturing, which in turn means that recycled materials can be screened to ensure consistency and continued compatibility.

What in your opinion will be the next big advance for 3D printing/AM?
From our perspective, one of the main challenges will be optimizing materials to ensure the quality of built parts. As in other industries and sectors, users are seeing variability in quality of the final product as a consequence of differences in feedstock, even when seemingly identical powders are used. The ability to define robust and reliable specifications for raw materials, or adjust machine settings based on knowledge of feedstock properties, is critical and will become increasingly important as AM techniques become more exacting and the applications become more demanding.

In addition, I expect standardization to be a major issue in the coming years as bodies such as the ASTM and ISO look to establish stronger guidance on implementing AM processes and ensuring quality, particularly in industries such as aerospace, biotechnology and medicine.

1ASTM D7891 is the Standard Test Method for Shear Testing of Powders Using the Freeman Technology FT4 Powder Rheometer