Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Steven Guffey

Committee Co-Chair

Xinjian He

Committee Member

Mike McGarvey


Additive manufacturing (AM) is a relatively new field that promises advancement in various disciplines such as medical, aerospace, and consumer products. One of the recent developments in additive manufacturing is with the use of metal powders, such as aluminum, nickel, and chromium. AM processes are projected to become more common as the technology advances and the applications spread into a variety of different industries. There are several health and safety risks that have been identified with the use of these powders, including combustible dust and health exposure issues. This study was aimed at looking at some of the issues with these risks, and to give baseline exposure monitoring for several common processes in additive manufacturing. Exposure monitoring was performed for two lab scale operations, two metal printing operations, and a powder creation operation. Samples were either analyzed for chrome and nickel, or hexavalent chrome. Results of the 17 exposure monitoring samples showed various levels of exposures. Excluding the one outlier sample, 4 of the 17 samples taken were over the occupational exposure limit during the sample duration. Due to the short duration of these tasks, none of the results are over the full shift occupational exposure limit for their respective elements. In conclusion, these results suggest that the current operations do not pose a risk for exposure above the occupational exposure limits. These results also suggest that changes in the process, for example a scale-up of powder used or a change in the alloy composition, could lead to overexposures to employees.