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BOFA unveils innovative filtration technology to boost metal additive manufacturing productivity

BOFA International has developed a world first innovation in filtration technology to make the exchange of filters in metal additive manufacturing processes safer, faster and better for productivity.

The new stand-alone AM 400 system uses patented technology that enables the filters that remove potentially harmful fume, gases and particulate from metal additive manufacturing to be exchanged on site without risking a thermal event. BOFA will be showcasing the new product at the Formnext 2021 exhibition taking place in Frankfurt between 16th & 19th November, where representatives from BOFA will be available on stand 12.0-E22.

The laser powder bed fusion process used in metal additive manufacturing needs to operate in an inert atmosphere because the materials worked risk spontaneous ignition should they come into contact with oxygen. As a consequence, when new filters are needed for these systems, up until now, equipment had to be shut down and moved to a safe area for the saturated filters to be removed and replaced by operatives wearing full PPE.

With BOFA’s AM 400, filters are contained within a separate housing with a robust seal, enabling filter exchange to be completed quickly and safely without isolating the additive manufacturing equipment.

Haydn Knight, Sales & Marketing Director at BOFA, commented: “This innovation in filtration design will lead to significant productivity gains for businesses involved in metal additive manufacturing. This production process is used across multiple industry sectors to create high value components and products, and by enabling easier and safer filter exchange, end users are able to benefit from reduced downtime which translates into tangible productivity gains.”

The AM 400 filtration system has been developed specifically for the metal additive manufacturing market, offering high air flow potential up to a maximum flow of 190 cu ft/min and a maximum operating pressure of 250mBar, with low leakage at <30ml/min @ -10mBar.

In addition to enhancing filter exchange efficiency and safety, AM 400 system users will also benefit from patented innovations that optimise filter performance, enabling operators to monitor filter status and coordinate exchanges to match maintenance schedules.

Added Haydn Knight: “The AM 400 marks a significant advancement in filtration technology for metal additive manufacturing through a design that helps safeguard human health and product quality while delivering value-adding productivity improvements.”

The AM 400 will be featured in the BOFA line-up at Formnext 2021, alongside a new high temperature 3D PrintPRO model (3D PrintPRO HT) and a redesigned 3D PrintPRO 4 system, in addition to its established 3D PrintPRO range and newly launched AD Oracle iQ2.