Testing & Validation

Ensuring the most effective quality for your application

Testing and validation are integral for success

Validated test results are necessary to quantify benefits and measure success. At Conflux, testing of our AM solutions is critical to ensure the quality and repeatability of the parts produced in addition to the functional performance outcomes.

We apply a variety of testing methods at key stages in our development process. Validation testing is carried out in order to take a concept through to functional prototype level. For independent validation we use certified, external test laboratories.

Benefits of testing & validation:
  • Provide statistical confidence
  • Assist in certification of parts
  • Aid performance analysis
  • Highlight areas for improvement
  • Correlate against simulation (CFD, FEA)
  • Ensure parts are free of metal powder
  • Ensure parts are free of critical defects
  • Aid characterisation of critical features
  • Enable analysis of porosity and wall thickness
  • Enable analysis of surface roughness

Programs customised for your project

The standards and certification requirements of every industry we work in are unique. For us, this can mean that acceptance criteria differ from project to project. We tackle this by developing testing and validation programs tailored to your particular problem space that ensure overall aims and requirements are addressed.

A staged approach to Testing and Validation

At Conflux, the validity of our work is always at the forefront of our minds. We address this right at the conceptualisation stage of projects, taking care to consider factors such as powder removal and end use performance right from the outset.

This mentality follows all the way through to final performance testing. We often perform pressure/leak testing and CT scanning during the intermediate stages of projects to inform and direct the development.

By carefully considering testing and validation at each stage of the project, we’re able to avoid compromise to project deliverables and ensure that we are always delivering on time and to brief.

Download Whitepaper on Testing

ABOVE: Test coupons with different sized that will be used in the extensive materials validation work Conflux does

Conflux Quantify® – our proprietary quality control software 

Developed specifically due to our heat exchanger geometries and our manufacturing being so unique. Conflux Quantify® is one of our exclusive capabilities and enables development improvements not found elsewhere. 

The key benefits of Conflux Quantify® are:
  • improved quality control
  • lighter/thinner/higher performance heat exchangers due to improved development capabilities
  • cheaper heat exchangers due to the reduced need for trial-and-error development process (that is common in LPBF process development)

    Conflux Quantify® software provides us with repeatable, comparable measurements and helps inform us for process development decisions, parameter development, and performance predictions. 

    Some of the areas that Conflux Quantify® looks at are surface roughness, wall thickness and pore morphology;
    • Surface roughness can play a large role in performance due to the relative size of the fluid domains. Thus, we are looking for small scale surface deviations.
    • Wall thickness also plays a large role in performance. When observing wall thickness, we determine the mean of it, this is useful for very thin walls with high surface roughness.
    • Pore Morphology and size distribution; we’re assessing the shape, size, and number of pores present. The metric we use for pore morphology is sphericity (I.e., how close the pores are to a sphere), and in combination with the size distribution, this can help inform the mechanism by which pore formation occurred. Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) process parameters will impact pore formation, and hence this tool can be used to inform parameter development as well as quality control.

    Learn more about Conflux Quantify® in our FAQ article or contact our team to hear more

    Testing & Validation Capabilities

    Our testing and validation capabilities fall into different categories and are performed internally and externally.

    Verification testing:
    • In-house pressure and leak testing
    • Burst pressure testing
    • Best practice in powder removal.
    Non Destructive Examination
    • Lab based CT (Computed Tomography) scanning
    • Advanced high resolution CT scanning with the Australian Synchrotron
    • Quantitative analysis of CT scan data
    • Microscopy, optical and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy).
    Performance testing
    • Calorimetric (heat rejection and pressure drop)
    • Shock and vibration
    • Thermal cycling
    • Pressure pulsation
    • Differing environmental conditions.

    ABOVE: The videos above show (left) scanning by Australian Synchotron and and a pressure test sample being leak tested.