powder processing

Jeff Hochadel

The Nitty Gritty of 3D Printing & Powder Sieving

Jeff Hochadel
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Here at HK Technologies, we have been sieving powder metal for quite some time. Our Ultrasonic Sieving Systems allow for sieving very fine atomized powders – down to 20 micron on conventional wire mesh and in some cases finer –using electroformed material provided by PrecisionForm, Inc. As the 3D printing industry has exploded, so has the need for finer powders. While I am no expert in the field of 3D printing, I have been involved in several areas requiring finer and finer mesh sieving.

Many of the 3D printing manufacturers install a very simple inline vibratory screener system in the powder feed system. These simple screeners typically sieve the powder through a 74 micron or 200 mesh screen. This insures that no large foreign objects are being fed into the powder part building process. Many times the end user needs finer powder to create the intricate parts they are producing. This powder is typically said to be +20 -25 micron powder. We are also told this powder is classified through an air classification process. The process, while quick and relatively easy, leaves a powder that is not always what it is claimed to be. When asked to check the accuracy of the particle size, we find there is almost always a significant amount, 10% or more, of finer material than claimed. Read More…

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Jeff Hochadel

The Importance of Product Testing for Fine Mesh Screening

Jeff Hochadel
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Many times a potential customer will call our office or email asking for a quote and delivery on a specific type of equipment. Our standard response involves asking the customer a series of questions ranging from what the product is, estimated throughput rates, percentage of plus and minus screen size, and others. We typically also ask for an application data sheet be filled out. All this helps remove the guess work out of equipment sizing.  Sometimes the customer thinks he knows what is required based on past experience or what someone else has told him he needs. While many times these assumptions may be correct, we want to make sure what we sell the customer will ultimately meet or exceed their expectations. While filling out forms and asking questions definitely assists in proper screener selection, I have found asking for a sample of the product for in house testing eliminates all the guess work out of the equipment selection process. If time permits and the customer requires we can also send out a demonstration model for a short in-house testing period.

Running tests on a sample or sending out a demonstration model will ultimately remove all the guess work out of equipment selection. Read More…

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Jeff Hochadel

Ultrasonic Sieving Solutions For Product Contamination Complications

Jeff Hochadel
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If you are familiar with ultrasonic sieving and have concerns over contamination of your product then this blog will grab your attention. Recently one of our customers approached us with a difficult request. They needed to have an ultrasonic screener  that consisted of 100% stainless steel contact parts.  A traditional screener consisting of all stainless steel contact parts did not produce the yield and throughput needed for their process and inquired about providing a screener with ultrasonics. This request included the screen frame and the sieving surface (wire mesh) had to be free of any adhesives, etc..

Since our standard ultrasonic frames are machined aluminum this posed a challenge for us. Although we have tried making stainless steel screen frames in the past, the density of the stainless gave us some issues in transmitting out ultrasonics through the frame and across the screen surface. The second requirement of the screen surface being clear of any transducers which was an easy one for us since we currently do not attach our  Read More…

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Jeff Hochadel

Innovative Solutions to Industrial Fine Mesh Screening Challenges from Cleveland Vibrator Co.

Jeff Hochadel
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Over the years I have handled hundreds of sales calls. Some are looking for new equipment while other are looking to improve upon an existing application. The majority of the customers who are not looking for new equipment  want to increase their “yield” or “productivity” of the final product they are trying to produce. My first question when addressing their issue is what is the percentage of “good” product are they losing in the oversize material in their screener?  While some have a good idea of this amount others have no idea what the correlation between yield and oversize have to do with each other. Read More…

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Jeff Hochadel

Powder Metal Fine Mesh Screening Customizations

Jeff Hochadel
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As a custom equipment manufacturer, we have quite a bit of flexibility in what we can offer.  Sometimes a screening application calls for requirements that a standard vibratory screener just cannot accommodate.

Recently, a customer asked us to redesign his powder metal screening operation in order to provide additional headroom for an additional piece of equipment. His application requirements were vacuum, two deck screening and ultrasonics on both screen decks PLUS he wanted to increase production. He currently was also Read More…

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Jeff Hochadel

Avoiding Costly Problems in Screening Ceramic Powders

Jeff Hochadel
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As the Sales Manager here at HK Technologies, I run across many unique and challenging screening applications on a weekly basis. While this is my first post and I have a lot of interesting applications to discuss, I want to begin with a recent application where a customer was using ultrasonic sieving to screen a high value ceramic powder used in the electronics industry.  The screen mesh was fairly coarse – 80 mesh. The ceramic powder was agglomerating and forming hard nodules of ceramic material from the current suppliers ultrasonic system. The customer could not tolerate these hard nodules contaminating the final product. They approached us for a solution.

              

Pic 1                                       Pic 2                                 Pic 3 – HK Tranducer – no screen contact

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