Equispheres granted $8 million from SDTC for sustainable additive manufacturing powders

Equispheres, a metal additive manufacturing powder manufacturer, has received $8 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to scale its material production capacity over the next two years.

With this investment, the SDTC is funding competitive clean technology solutions for the automotive and aerospace industries. Kevin Nicholds, CEO of Equispheres, stated, “This support from SDTC speaks to the importance of our powder technology as a key to achieving significant emissions reductions in the automotive sector.”

“Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future,” added Leah Lawrence, President, and CEO of SDTC.

“Equispheres has developed a metal powder that acts as ink for 3D printing and enables automotive and aerospace manufacturers to reduce the weight of their products. [It is] set to remove 100 – 200 kg of mass from an automobile, this would be the equivalent to removing 75 million cars off the road!”

Uniform particles of Equispheres aluminum alloy powder. Image via Equispheres
Uniform particles of Equispheres aluminum alloy powder. Image via Equispheres.

Clean additive manufacturing powders

Last year, Equispheres, headquartered in Ottawa, received third party aerospace certification for its powders. The results from such tests showed a 50% increase in production speed and a 20-30% increase in a-basis mechanical performance. Prior to this, the company received an $8 million investment from BDC Capital, as one of its high-potential Canadian cleantech firms.

With the latest funding, Equispheres has formed a consortium including an undisclosed major automotive manufacturer and aerospace company to leverage the weight optimization potential of its materials. This aims to drastically reduce vehicle weight as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Comparing metal powders. Photo via Equispheres.
Comparison of metal powders. Photo via Equispheres.

Additive alloys for mass production

According to the company, aluminum alloy powders are in great demand in both the automotive and aerospace sectors. Thus, developing a powder that enables faster, more efficient production of stronger and lighter parts, will lead to innovation and cost reduction. Equispheres states, “In the automotive industry alone, it is anticipated that Equispheres powder will improve fuel efficiency by over 10%.”

Partnering with McGill University in Montreal, it previously announced the results of a research project on its aluminum alloy powders which revealed that the company’s powders are suitable for sintering with binder jet 3D printing technology.

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Featured image shows a comparison of metal powders. Photo via Equispheres.