Carpenter Technology has patented a method to assess metal powder for additive manufacturing. By analyzing properties like color and texture in images of the powder, the process determines if the powder is suitable for reuse based on statistical outliers. GlobalData’s report on Carpenter Technology gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Carpenter Technology, Powder bed fusion was a key innovation area identified from patents. Carpenter Technology's grant share as of March 2024 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Quality control of metal powder for additive manufacturing

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Carpenter Technology Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11969789B2) discloses a method and apparatus for determining the degradation of metal powder used in additive manufacturing processes. The method involves processing an image of the metal powder to measure its color and subsequently determining the degradation based on this color measurement. Additional steps include taking the image of the powder, cropping the image, and checking the quality of the image to ensure accurate analysis. The image is processed to estimate the total number of particles and identify particles with surface properties outside a chosen range, ultimately determining the suitability of the powder for re-use.

The apparatus for implementing this method includes a camera and a computer to process the image captured by the camera, measure the color of the metal powder, and determine its degradation based on this color measurement. Another aspect of the method involves identifying particles of powder with surface properties outside a predetermined range from the image and using this information to assess the degradation of the metal powder. By utilizing image processing techniques and surface property analysis, this patented technology offers a comprehensive approach to evaluating the quality and reusability of metal powder in additive manufacturing processes, potentially enhancing the efficiency and reliability of such manufacturing operations.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.