From: Yaritza Brinker <YBrinker**At_Symbol_Here**FELE.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Metal Additive Manufacturing
Date: Mon, 6 May 2019 20:21:26 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: DM5PR05MB33067A7ADD0CDC6D90D13BB5AD300**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <27a5ba90fc2844f8b46db4cd9335d7a8**At_Symbol_Here**>

All printed metal parts are basically sintered metal parts. As Chuck mentioned, some machines integrate the sintering step and some require sintering post printing in a separate furnace. Regardless, sintering has to happen in a controlled gas atmosphere or you will have the heated metal reacting with the oxygen and moisture in the air. So, it is important to also know what other post-printing operations need to occur to complete the part.


My company looked at metal printing last year and decided to pass. In part because the EHS requirements were basically those of a sintered parts manufacturing operation. Goodluck!


Thank you,


Yaritza Brinker



From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> On Behalf Of Geraci, Charles L. (Chuck) (CDC/NIOSH/DSI)
Sent: Monday, May 6, 2019 7:56 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Metal Additive Manufacturing


** External Email **



The ‘controls' for a metal additive manufacturing tool (3D Printer) can vary based on the type of tool. The two main printers; selective laser sintering or e-beam sintering, operate under an inert atmosphere, usually argon, because of the beam. The build chamber is enclosed during the sintering (building) and opened only after the build is complete. The fine metal powder used in the process is captured for recycle.   For this type or printer, the critical controls are several: on the device itself, depending on the type of dust control system, there are issues of fire or reaction if not maintained. The powder itself needs special storing or handling depending on what it is and how much is on hand. Aluminum is always a concern. The greatest dust issues, and therefore exposure, and potential fire or explosion hazards, usually occur when the build chamber is being emptied and the part that has been build is being cleaned of unfused metal power.  A third type of metal powder printer is the binder jet printer. These are not under inert atmosphere and work with an open bed of fine metal powder. Many of the same issues.  Finally, a newer form of ‘metal 3D printer uses a polymer that is highly infused with metal powder, The part is printed and the polymer matrix is flashed off in an over. Many obvious concerns over that process. A newer type of metal 3D printer uses a metal wire and ‘prints' much like a polymer stand printer, except with metal. There are building support issues to take into account, depending on the type and size of printer, the volume of metal powder to be stored (if a metal powder based tool)


NIOSH has a research effort looking at a variety of 3D printers that work with metal and polymer feedstock.  We have a field team that has visited multiple sites to evaluate hazards, work practices and controls. Some of that information is available via a series of webinars we have created and one of our Industrial Hygienists recently gave a talk on 3D printers at the CSHEMA conference.


I'd be happy to make connections for you so you can share more specific information and get the information you need.


Chuck Geraci


Charles L. Geraci, Jr.,  Ph.D., CIH, FAIHA

Associate Director for Emerging Technologies

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

1090 Tusculum Avenue

Cincinnati, OH  45226

( 513.533.8339 |*  cgeraci**At_Symbol_Here**





From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> On Behalf Of Bell,Martin
Sent: Friday, May 3, 2019 5:20 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Metal Additive Manufacturing


I was just informed a researcher received a grant that includes the use of 3D metal printer. I was wonder if someone can share the types of engineering controls implemented to address the reactive metal powders used in the printer.




Martin W. Bell, M.S. CIH CSP 

Director, Environmental Compliance

Department of Environmental Health and Safety


Drexel University

400 North 31st Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Tel: 215.895.5892 | Fax: 215.895.5926

Mobile: 215-778-4278



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