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Global, independent certification expert LRQA has published new guidance for additive manufacturers seeking to certify the quality and safety of polymer-based solutions.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a rapidly developing and disruptive field of manufacturing, being used by a growing number of industries including construction, energy, marine & offshore, medical and aerospace. 

Additive Manufacturing of polymer products is already well established in different sectors and in many non-safety critical applications. With additive manufactured polymers increasingly being considered for new and alternative applications, however, LRQA's guidance notes offer companies a comprehensive framework for achieving certification, focused on five core stages of the design and manufacturing process:

  • Design verification
  • Base materials
  • Operations & facilities
  • Testing protocols
  • Products and components

Commenting on the publication of the guidelines, LRQA's Senior Technical Consultant, Clarrisa Choong said:

“Polymers are becoming more and more viable across a whole range of additive manufacturing solutions. As the industry reaches this new level of maturity, our aim is to enable growth to continue and businesses to scale, by ensuring that manufacturers can quickly and more easily offer customers and end-users the reassurance of a product that is fully certified for reliability, quality and safety.

As the global economy drives towards achieving a net reduction of environmental load, there is a greater impetus to boost industrial sustainability. We are at the cusp of time to take a holistic perspective in utilising salient elements of the AM workflow to improve sustainability and support the circular economy.

“In a fast-growing and fast-changing sector, we have drawn on LRQA's technical expertise and working knowledge of manufacturing techniques and regulatory requirements to simplify the process for manufacturers – or anyone seeking to certify the use of polymer AM products in their supply chains - and establish a clear benchmark for the requirements for certification."

Download LRQA's Polymer AM Guidance Notes alongside a series of guidance notes published for additive manufacturers, including for powder bed fusion by laser or electron beam, directed energy deposition by laser and Wire + Arc AM (WAAM):

Polymer AM guidance notes
Additive manufacturing guidance notes
WAAM guidance notes