Metal Powder Handling: Safety and Carpenter Additive’s Hoppers

24 Apr, 2024

As we continue our exploration of Carpenter Additive’s revolutionary Next-Gen Hoppers, this blog focuses on the intricacies of metal powder handling. We revisit the safety features embedded in the 250L and 500L Hoppers, designed to ensure a secure and efficient environment for the demanding world of metal additive manufacturing.

Before delving into the specific features, let’s recap the core elements that define Carpenter Additive’s Hoppers. With a fully welded structure, 304L stainless steel composition, and positively locking handles, these Hoppers prioritize durability, cleanliness, and user-friendly operation.

Electrostatic Discharge and Material Identification

Metal powder, by its nature, presents challenges related to electrostatic discharge (ESD). Carpenter Additive has strategically addressed this concern to maintain a controlled environment, ensuring the safety and integrity of the metal powder throughout the handling process.

The unibody structure of the Hoppers incorporates a bonded Electrostatic Discharge point. This structural design not only enhances the safety of operations but also minimizes the risk of ESD-related issues, ensuring the quality of the metal powder remains uncompromised.

Ensuring proper identification of different alloys is critical for a streamlined workflow. Carpenter Additive’s Hoppers boast a robust material identification decal system. This system enhances traceability, allowing operators to easily identify and manage various alloys stored within the Hoppers. Designed with visual accessibility in mind, the decals feature thoughtfully chosen high contrast graphics and easily separable colors for each alloy, catering to individuals with color vision deficiency and contrast sensitivity. These considerations align with statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, underlining the importance of inclusive design in industrial settings.


Image 1: Material Identification Decal System

Ergonomic Safety and Powder Exposure Reduction 

In addition to electrostatic discharge and material identification features, Carpenter Additive’s Hoppers prioritize ergonomic safety and minimize powder exposure to personnel. The design of the Hoppers incorporates ergonomic considerations, such as handle placement and ease of access, to reduce strain and potential workplace injuries. Furthermore, the sealed structure of the Hoppers helps contain and minimize powder dispersion, contributing to a safer working environment for operators.

Transport and Handling Solutions

Carpenter Additive understands the scale of metal additive manufacturing operations. The Hoppers, with a remarkable carrying capacity of up to two metric tons, offer a reliable and efficient solution for handling large volumes of metal powder.

Versatility is key in industrial settings. The Hoppers utilize novel fabrication techniques, providing various access options. This adaptability ensures that the Hoppers seamlessly integrate into diverse operational setups, enhancing overall efficiency.

Acknowledging the diverse production environments, the Hoppers support crane lifting. Built-in lift points and removable lifting eyelets facilitate easy and safe transportation, especially in settings where space constraints make crane lifting a practical solution.

Crane and 4 Way

Image 2: Crane Lifting Support and 4-Way Fork Access

Carpenter Additive’s Hoppers go beyond conventional powder containers, offering advanced solutions tailored to the unique demands of metal additive manufacturing. From addressing electrostatic challenges to providing versatile access options and crane-lifting support, these Hoppers embody safety, efficiency, and innovation. As additive manufacturing continues to evolve, Carpenter Additive remains at the forefront, providing cutting-edge solutions that redefine the standards of metal powder handling. Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs as we delve deeper into the impact and industry best practices enabled by these revolutionary Hoppers.

Discover the Hoppers Download the Hopper Product Sheet


Tags: additive manufacturing, metal 3D printing, #Carpenter Additive, 3d printing, powder handling, additive manufacturing challenges, safety in powder handling, additive manufacturing powder handling

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