GE Aviation’s additive manufacturing facility tackles 3D printing dust

Published on February 3rd, 2015 by Andrew Simms

GE Aviation’s additive manufacturing facility tackles 3D printing dust

In order to prevent fires and combustible dust explosion hazards from 3D printing dust, GE Aviation required a solution that would protect their workforce from the dangers of explosive dust.

GE Aviation Cincinnati Ohio

GE Aviation’s additive manufacturing facility in Cincinnati Ohio is focused on producing 3D printed parts for use in advanced turbofan jet engines. One of the parts produced is a 3D printed fuel nozzle, a critical component of the LEAP jet engine. The plant uses a variety of different 3D printing machines including Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Electron-beam melting (EBM), Selective Laser Melting (SLM) along with other types of 3D printing processes.

Dust control challenges in additive manufacturing

3D printed parts used in turbofan jet engines are frequently produced from exotic metal alloys including, aluminum, titanium, magnesium, cobalt chrome and stainless steel. In order to prevent fires and combustible dust explosion hazards from 3D printing dust, GE Aviation required a solution that would protect their workforce from the dangers of explosive dust.

Standardizing with Wet Downdraft Talbes

Following a site visit by Diversitech’s local representative, a wet downdraft table system was custom-designed for GE Aviation’s specific deburring and finishing application. This table was divided into 6 workstations, each with a work area 32” deep by 42” wide. To contain the airborne dust, side and back walls along with middle dividers were added. The tables were ducted to two W5000 CFM wet dust collectors with dual silencers and hydrogen vent fans. The dust collectors and vent fans serve to exhaust flammable hydrogen gas produced as the metal dust oxidizes in the collector’s water reservoir.

Critical features for work cell ergonomics

The downdraft table was ergonomically designed for operators to comfortably sit at the table, which allows kick space for their legs. For added safety, explosion-proof light kits were installed in each work cell. In order to reduce noise levels that are harmful to workers, sound attenuation media were installed on the inner walls. A blue cushion grid mat was also placed on the surface of the steel bar grating to prevent parts from getting damaged or scratched.

3D Printing with reduced dust explosion risks

Diversitech’s application engineering department is capable of providing a tailored solution for your 3D printing finishing dust collection application and can custom design a downdraft table work area to meet your specific needs. Companies know that combustible metal dust is a serious workplace hazard and that employees and property need to be protected from the risk of dust fires and explosions. Diversitech has the experience and the team to design the right dust collection system to suit your specific needs.

It is well known that combustible metal dust is a serious workplace hazard. Since industrial dust is in fact the leading cause of workplace fires and explosions, employees and property need to be protected from such risks.

GE Aviation and other companies are now protected through solutions designed by Diversitech. Our team, with all our collective experience, offers you the right dust collection system and downdraft table work areas customized to meet your specific needs. Our application engineering department can provide you a solution tailored for your 3D printing finishing dust collection application as well.

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They trust us

« As a repeat customer, and owner of both wet and dry downdraft tables, we cannot say enough about the products, and the people at Diversitech…….both are a pleasure to work with! »

  • Combustible dust from deburring safely contained with wet downdraft tables
  • Solved excess dust from grinding and finishing steel parts
  • Reduced cycle time by allowing operators to deburr near the machining center

« The tables are now fully functioning! The students were on them yesterday, and the instructors were so impressed. One instructor even said that he’s “old school” and wasn’t sure about the downdrafts, but he was very impressed. »

  • Custom powder coated tables to match "Baton Rouge Red"
  • Delivered tables "on-time" to five separate campus locations
  • Nanofiber filter technolgy ensure students have a clean and safe learning environment

« We love the downdraft table and are using it full time. We will probably be looking for another one in 6 months to a year as well. Thanks for a nice product. »

  • Mini DD eliminates deburring dust at source
  • Supplied cushion grid matting to protect parts from damage
  • Downdraft table filters airborne dust to protect workers and machinery

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