Element strengthens additive position with GKN Aerospace Sweden approval

Element Materials Technology, an independant provider of destructive and non-destructive testing services, has reached a milestone in additive manufacturing with the approval of its Antwerp laboratory by GKN Aerospace Sweden.


Element said this achievement underscores its investment into laboratories in Antwerp and Teesside to provide powder characterisation.

Accurate determination of powder properties is essential for quality assurance as the quality of powder significantly impacts the printing process and the properties of the printed material. Element’s investments in these services enable the laboratory to ensure compliance and adherence to specification limits.

With the growing industrial application of powder bed fusion and additive manufacturing, Element’s chemistry laboratories are witnessing an increasing percentage of work dedicated to this technology, transitioning from research and development to production.


Element’s laboratories in Antwerp and Teesside provide testing throughout the entire life-cycle of products, covering pre-service, post-service, and manufacturing stages.

Giles Mertens, Chemistry and Powder Testing Department manager at Element said the company cannot specify the precise powders that GKN Aerospace Sweden might send for analysis. Whatever they do send, Element Antwerp will be able to carry out powder characterisation to ISO/ASTM 52907 standards.

“This comprehensive scope encompasses various investigations into the physical properties of metal powders, encompassing representative sampling, particle size distribution analysis through sieve analysis and laser diffraction techniques, measurement of apparent density, evaluation of compacted 'tap' density, flowability assessment using the Hall funnel method, morphology scrutiny, and analysis of contamination levels,” said Mertens. “These tests collectively ensure a robust validation process for a wide range of metal powders, potentially including those used in processes such as metal deposition.”