“An inside look into Element Materials Technology’s analytical approach to interviewing powders with precision.”

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Title: Ensuring Precision and Innovation in Additive Manufacturing with Quality Powder


When it comes to the industrialization of 3D printing, the quality of the powder used is of utmost importance. In a conversation with Giles Mertens, the Department Manager of Chemistry and Powder Testing at Element Materials Technology, we gain insights into their meticulous approach towards assessing metal powder for additive manufacturing. With a focus on achieving excellence in both the metal and polymer industries, Element Materials Technology sets high standards in quality assurance (QA) and examinations of powders and end products.

Unparalleled Precision: Thorough Validation Beyond Standards:

Element Materials Technology goes beyond international standards to validate their equipment, surpassing the stipulated 100 parts per million (PPM) requirement. By delving deep into sub-PPM levels, they can confidently and precisely determine particular elements, ensuring unparalleled precision for their clients. These tests go beyond chemical analysis and include powder characterization, flowability, density, and distribution, among other detailed inspections. Such meticulous approach enables Element to deliver accurate results from the very first steps of working with new powder batches.

Collaborations and Emerging Trends:

Element Materials Technology has a strong roster of collaborations with well-known powder producers. Although specific names cannot be disclosed due to client confidentiality, these partnerships attest to the company’s leading position in the industry. When it comes to powder production methods, Mertens doesn’t make definitive assertions, as interpretations vary and ultimately rest with the powder producer. However, he mentions gas plasma atomization as one technique that shows promising results.

In terms of emerging trends, there is a growing interest in newer alloys, such as GRCop-42, a copper alloy combined with niobium and chromium, with potential applications in high-temperature generators. Additionally, the rise of Inconel 718, a superalloy initially confined to the R&D realm, is now making an impact in real-life applications. However, challenges remain, with the delicate balance between material formulation and processing parameters being crucial for successful printing.

Element Materials Technology’s Vision for the Future:

As a center of excellence in the additive manufacturing industry, Element Materials Technology has a clear vision for the future. While currently focused on metal alloys and polymers, their aim is to broaden their scope to include ceramics as well. With significant progress already made in ceramics, expanding into polymers would entail establishing a completely different setup in their chemical laboratory. This indicates their dedication to investing in research and development, backed by substantial engineering prowess.


Element Materials Technology stands as a force to be reckoned with in the additive manufacturing industry. Their emphasis on thorough testing, meticulous quality assurance, and their drive to expand into new frontiers showcases their commitment to ensuring precision and innovation. By assessing and providing top-quality powders for additive manufacturing, Element Materials Technology plays a crucial role in enabling the creation of high-quality 3D-printed parts.

In the fast-paced world of additive manufacturing, Element Materials Technology is taking center stage. With a focus on ceramics, the company is well-positioned to serve the growing demand for innovative materials. Recently, they made an exciting acquisition – an Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) – to deal with the emergence of new alloys that haven’t even been named yet. These alloys, some consisting of more than 50 elements including rare ones like Rhenium and Scandium, are being tested for their potential applications.

The main goal? To make products lighter and contribute to a more sustainable society. This aligns with the field of computational alloy discovery, which is speeding up the process of creating new alloys. With GKN Aerospace recognizing the expertise of Element Materials Technology, the company’s position in the aerospace industry has been further strengthened. Thanks to this partnership, Element Materials Technology is now authorized to perform chemical analyses and physical boundary tests for GKN Aerospace.

As the additive manufacturing industry continues to evolve, companies like Element Materials Technology remain at the forefront, always innovating and adapting to the changing demands of the market. The future looks promising, with countless opportunities and challenges awaiting. So, what can we expect from the next ten years in 3D printing? What engineering challenges will arise in the additive manufacturing sector in the coming decade?

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If you’re looking for a job in the additive manufacturing industry, be sure to visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles within the industry. Join the exciting world of additive manufacturing and be a part of the future of manufacturing innovation.

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