Montreal-based metal powder producer and plasma torch specialist PyroGenesis has received a five metric tonnes (5,000 kg) order for plasma atomized titanium metal powders used in 3D printing.
While the identity of the client remains confidential, it is an advanced materials company in the U.S. This is PyroGenesis’ first commercial order for titanium metal powder in a large “by-the-tonne” quantity. Previously, the company manufactured titanium metal powder in smaller batches for customers, making this the first time it has received an order of such significant size. Additionally, the new client has provisionally ordered an additional six tonnes (6,000 kg) of titanium metal powders based on its assessment of the demand for more powders.
“This order for 5,000 kg is the first “By-The-Tonne” commercial order received by the Company for its atomized powder titanium metal powders produced using the Company’s NexGen plasma atomization system,” said Massimo Dattilo, VP, PyroGenesis Additive. “This represents our full entrance into the titanium metal powders marketplace.”
Producing titanium metal powder
PyroGenesis prioritizes the production of novel titanium metal powders as part of its comprehensive three-tiered solution ecosystem. The company’s focus on metal powders is categorized under the Commodity Security & Optimization tier, which aims to recover valuable metals, improve production techniques for higher output, and optimize the utilization of raw materials. This approach contributes to the overall availability and accessibility of critical minerals, with titanium being recognized as one such important mineral by the Canadian government, says the company.
The order for five tonnes of titanium metal powder will be fulfilled at PyroGenesis’ advanced production facility located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Most of the initial order, which amounts to five tonnes, will be shipped out in the second quarter of 2023. The remaining portion of the order is scheduled to be completed and shipped before the end of the third quarter of 2023.
“With a goal to produce the highest quality metal powders in the additive manufacturing industry, PyroGenesis Additive has taken a cautious, methodical approach towards commercialization of its powders as we designed, then readied, our new NexGen plasma atomization process,” continued Mr. Dattilo. “As mentioned in our previous releases, we started with sample batches for key customers measured in dozens of grams, then progressed to small commercial orders of 100kg each, with the stated goal to then move up to commercial production and sales “By-The-Tonne”. This has now been achieved with this multi tonne order.”
Titanium 3D printing on the rise
IperionX, a titanium alloy producer, and Carver Pump, an ISO 9001:2015 certified pump manufacturer, collaborated to supply 3D printed titanium pump parts to the US Navy. Carver Pump took the lead in developing these parts, providing guidance to IperionX throughout the prototyping process, and overseeing the qualification procedures. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) had already developed additive manufacturing techniques for over 500 approved components used in submarines and ships. In an effort to further expand additive manufacturing initiatives, the Governor of Virginia and the US Navy collaborated to establish the ‘Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence’ in Danville, VA, which conveniently sits just 25 miles away from IperionX’s Titanium Demonstration Facility.
Aerospace manufacturer Boeing partnered with Titomic, the Melbourne-based firm behind the Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) 3D printing process, to advance additive manufacturing in the space sector. The companies collaborated to investigate the utilization of sustainable titanium powders for 3D printing parts for space systems. Titomic was granted $2.325 million through the Australian government‘s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which they used to conduct research and commercialize components for space vehicles and satellites, utilizing a local titanium mineral resource.
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Featured image shows metal alloy powder. Image via PyroGenesis.