PyroGenesis completes NexGen metal powder production line

Montreal-based metal powder producer and plasma torch specialist PyroGenesis has announced its Additive Manufacturing NexGen powder production line is now completed and producing powders.

PyroGenesis’ NexGen Plasma Atomization System is capable of producing metal powder for 3D printing at a rate of over 25 kg/h, and there are reportedly several “major top-tier” aerospace companies and OEMs awaiting powders from the NexGen production line.

The company plans to carry out test runs in the coming weeks to confirm batch consistency and expects to start delivering powders before the end of Q2 2021.

“We have reached this milestone which many have been waiting for,” said P. Peter Pascali, CEO and Chair of PyroGenesis. “We are proud to be announcing today, the launching of our state-of-the-art production line incorporating the never seen before benefits of our NexGen technology.”

Metal alloy powder. Image via PyroGenesis.
Metal alloy powder. Image via PyroGenesis.

PyroGenesis’ NexGen technology

The NexGen Plasma Atomization System is a long-awaited upgrade of the original Plasma Atomization Process (PAP) invented by PyroGenesis in 1995, one of just a handful of companies in the world to employ this technique for making metal 3D printing powders.

The technology is used for both the disposing of industrial waste and the creation of fine metal powders for 3D printing, and is designed to deliver higher production rates and reduce waste, enabling PyroGenesis to produce materials at increasingly competitive price points. The system is also an important milestone in the company’s industrialization plan which seeks to achieve round-the-clock materials production.

Since its launch, the NexGen Plasma Atomization System has undergone several improvements to achieve increased production rates and narrower particle distribution. According to PyroGenesis, the system has “shattered” all known published plasma-atomized production rates for titanium.

“It was important that we incorporate these improvements into our process before locking it down for commercial orders,” continued Pascali. “As such, we are now able to say that we are producing powders at never seen before production rates using plasma. We are proud to be serving the additive manufacturing industry and, once again, opening the doors for further advancement.”

P. Peter Pascali. Photo via Pyrogenesis.
P. Peter Pascali. Photo via Pyrogenesis.

PyroGenesis’ period of growth

In January, PyroGenesis announced it was entering into a “heightened growth phase” and submitted a formal application to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. The application was approved a couple of months later and the firm started trading under the ticker “PYR”, hopeful that the move would boost brand awareness among potential clients and its appeal to future investors. 

The company has ramped up the commercialization of its patented Plasma Atomization Process in recent years and accelerated its growth strategy to deliver notable R&D developments, including the removal of tungsten contamination from its materials and the launch of its NexGen system. 

These activities seem to have positively impacted the company’s financial results, which predicted up to 367 percent revenue growth during Q4 2020, while also offering several benefits to 3D printer manufacturers to further optimize their printer parameters.

“While incorporating the NexGen improvements, it became clear that there were opportunities for further refinements with respect to our downstream powder process,” said Massimo Dattilo, Vice President of PyroGenesis Additive. “In addition to the increased production rates and yields afforded by NexGen, the downstream changes that we have also incorporated into the process now allow for even further control over powder morphology, or more specifically, powder particle shape and distribution.

“This now provides AM printer manufacturers with opportunities to further optimize printer parameters for faster build speeds and/or stronger final parts.”

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Featured image shows metal alloy powder. Image via PyroGenesis.