Business

Canada’s AM metal powder industry gets $8M boost at Equispheres

Canadian additive manufacturing powder producer Equisperes has just received an $8 million investment from early stage and SME financing bank BDC Capital.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and driving at the green-benefits of metal 3D printing, Equishperes is well-positioned within BDC’s ongoing commitment to high-potential Canadian cleantech firms. The investment is also the latest advance in the nation’s growing metal powder manufacturing stronghold, already home to rival materials companies such as GE Additive’s AP&C and PyroGenesis.

Equispheres powder atomization

The secret to Equisphere’s success is a patent-pending method of powder atomization that produces near-perfect spherical metal powders. The uniformity and smoothness of these powders make them the ideal feedstock for additive manufacturing systems, as heterogeneous particles can lead to quality discrepancies in the final part. On the strength of its proprietary technology, Equispheres also previously received a $5 million investment from American global aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin

Gas plasma atomization is one of the methods used by Equishperes competitors to create powders of such high quality and homogeneity. Another is the Fray, Farthing & Chen process, held by UK metal powder producer Metalysis.

Equispheres' metal powders (left) vs other atomized powder (right) with highlighted particle agglomerates (orange, green) and variable particle size (yellow). Image via Equispheres
Equispheres’ metal powders (left) vs other atomized powder (right) with highlighted particle agglomerates (orange, green) and variable particle size (yellow). Image via Equispheres

Additive manufacturing in Canadian cleantech

Securing this most recent investment from BDC, Equispheres focuses on the environmental advantages of 3D printing. Namely, how switching to additive manufacturing can cut out the logistics middle man – reducing fuel consumption – and the technology’s “use-as-needed” material economy.

First launched in January 2018, BDC’s cleantech initiative will award $700 million in funding to eligible companies in Canada over the next four years. Susan Rohac, Vice President of Cleantech Practice at BDC, comments, “This investment in Equispheres is part of BDC’s long history of supporting innovative Canadian cleantech firms to scale as world leaders.”

“Equispheres has an aggressive growth vision and is singularly positioned to scale in a rapidly expanding industry due to its novel, unrivalled product, strong management team and technical know-how.”

For its environmental efforts, Equispheres was also recently visited by Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change pictured above, who called it "an amazing Ottawa-area cleantech company." Photo via Karen McCrimmon
For its environmental efforts, Equispheres was also recently visited by Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change pictured above, who called it “an amazing Ottawa-area cleantech company.” Photo via Karen McCrimmon

According to Kevin G. Nicholds, President, CEO and Executive Director of Equispheres, BDC’s $8 million investment will be used to help scale-up production and meet powder supply demands from aerospace and automotive customers. Nicholds concluded:

“We are excited to receive the $8 million investment from BDC’s Cleantech practice.”

Is Equispheres your Material Company of the Year? Make your nominations now for the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards.

For all of the latest additive manufacturing business news, subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Create a profile on 3D Printing Jobs to find new opportunities near you.

Featured image shows SEM image of spherical metal powders produced by Equispheres. Image via Equispheres

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry mailing list to receive the latest Additive Manufacturing industry news, insights developments and analysis.

You have Successfully Subscribed!