Factors affecting particle characterization of powders used in additive manufacturing

Daniel Cardenas del Rio*, Dorte Juul Jensen, Niels Skat Tiedje, Søren Fæster, Tianbo Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The present study analyze the effects of sample preparation and data analysis techniques for different experimental methods of metal powder characterization. The aim is to propose a robust strategy for quantifying powder particle size distribution and morphology of relevance for metal additive manufacturing (MAM) processes, in particular for powders with nearly spherical particle shape. Laser diffraction (LD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (XCT) are used to analyze three different stainless-steel 316L powders. The results obtained demonstrate that the powder sample itself and the sample preparation, both have a significant effect on the obtained values. For the imaging processing methods, the post-processing route is an important part of the characterization and strongly affects the results. However, proper sample preparation is shown to ease this post-processing. Given the high sphericity of the powders used, it is shown that 2D and 3D methods generally lead to the same result when the 2D data are properly transformed to 3D space. Guidelines to overcome the shortcomings of the different techniques are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119324
JournalPowder Technology
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Image analysis
  • Laser diffraction
  • Metals
  • Particle size distribution
  • X-ray computed tomography


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