Pneumatic vacuum conveying equipment manufacturer Volkmann USA, Bristol, PA, has introduced the vLoader metal powder conveyor. Installed directly atop a 3D printer, the new vLoader automatically transfers metal powders from a bulk storage container, glove box, buffer hopper, reusable powder reprocessing system, or other powder source through piping or hose and then gently discharges into the printer’s supply hopper. Applying the company’s signature vacuum conveying technology, the Volkmann vLoader assures a continuous flow of powder to one or more printers for consistent, unattended production without interruption, 24/7.
Automating the cumbersome, manual powder transfer process, the vLoader operates in a sealed system with a closed loop approach that eliminates the potential for worker exposure to toxic metal materials and safeguards the sensitive materials from contamination due to exposure to the work environment. The metal powder loading system is suitable for integration with most 3D printers, operates in both normal air environments and under inert conditions, and may be retrofit onto printers in the field.
The powder conveyor is offered with the company’s companion vDryer vacuum dryer as an option to automatically restore metal powders to a targeted moisture content value. Custom configurations for any additive manufacturing process are also available.
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