ASTM publishes new ASTM F3637-23 standard for metal AM

It measures post-manufacturing relative density of metallic additively manufactured parts

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ASTM International Committee F42 has published a standard guide for Additive manufacturing of metal. In this standard, ASTM F3637-23, guidelines for measuring the post-manufacturing relative density of metallic additive manufactured (AM) parts and density assessment test specimens are given.

The Standard Guide, titled Additive Manufacturing of Metal—Finished Part Properties — Methods for Relative Density Measurement, is intended to support PBF-LB process and parameter development, part acceptance criteria, and process control tests.

Fabricating fully dense parts continues to be a challenge in AM as the process intrinsically introduces volumetric flaws into a part reducing the part’s relative density (that is, increasing porosity or the presence of small voids in a part making it less than fully dense) and mechanical performance.

When a flaw reaches a size, shape, location, or criticality that makes it becomes unacceptable for part acceptance, it will be referred to as a defect. Flaw or defect formation is governed by the manufacturing process, build parameters, feedstock, and geometric factors. Therefore, accurate measurement of the fabricated part relative density is an important initial step in determining part and process quality.

The quantity, size, and shape of the volumetric flaws influence the mechanical performance of a part, particularly under cyclic loading. These data could indicate irregularly shaped (for example, LOF pores or microcracking) or spherical porosity (for example, keyhole or entrapped gas porosity) and determine acceptability by assigning criteria. While these metrics can be quantified, in this guide, the general capabilities of each method to capture this data will be highlighted, but detailed recommendations on these data types will not be made and rather the focus will be on relative density measurements.

The new ASTM F3637-23 standard provides guidelines for measuring the post-manufacturing relative density of metallic additively manufactured (AM) parts and density assessment test specimens. Standard test methods are commonly used to measure part relative density and details any procedural changes or recommendations for use with PBF-LB parts are also referenced. Extensibility to other types of metallic AM processes may be considered on a case-by-case basis with user discretion.

The guide is intended to be applied during the selection process of methods to measure the relative density of AM parts to balance cost, accuracy, complexity, part destruction, and part size concerns. Other aspects such as pore size, shape, and distribution and their implications relative to the AM process and material are beyond the scope of this guide; however, each method’s ability to obtain these metrics is discussed in the context of the various density measurement methods.

The ASTM F3637-23 standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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