Powder-bed based Additive Manufacturing is a class of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes that bond successive layers of powder by laser melting to facilitate the creation of parts with complex geometries. As AM technology transitions from the fabrication of prototypes to end-use parts, the understanding of the powder properties needed to reliably produce parts of acceptable quality becomes critical. Consequently, this has led to the use of powder characterization techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), laser light diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and differential thermal analysis (DTA) to both qualitatively and quantitatively study the effect of powder characteristics on part properties. Utilization of these powder characterization methods to study particle size and morphology, chemical composition, and microstructure of powder has resulted in significant strides being made towards the optimization of powder properties for powder-bed based AM processes. This paper reviews methods commonly used in characterizing metallic AM powders, and the effects of powder characteristics on the part properties in these AM processes.

Meeting Name

27th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium -- An Additive Manufacturing Conference (2016: Aug. 8-10, Austin, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


This work has been funded by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies under Contract No. DE-NA0002839 with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

10 Aug 2016