Liberty Powder Metals, part of the GFG Alliance, started commercial production at its new Teesside powder-metals facility, targeting fast-growing demand from the 3D-printing industry. The company will produce a range of stainless steel and nickel superalloy powders for precision components in the automotive, aerospace and engineering industries. Minute spherical powder particles are processed to the highest specifications in a vacuum induction argon gas atomizer, which Liberty Powder Metals says is the only one of its kind in the U.K.
Abbott Furnace Company designed, manufactured and installed a 6,000-SCFH endothermic gas generator at Sintergy Inc. in Reynoldsville, Pa. The generator has an innovative retort design that allows a single retort to produce endo gas at this rate without sacrificing gas quality and maintaining a 6:1 turndown ratio. According to Sintergy, a manufacturer of powder-metal components, it is only seeing ±1°F in dew-point variation from setpoint. Abbott included state-of-the-art controls with an Allen-Bradley PLC, data logging, dew-point and methane sensors, and an updated gas safety system.
With our diverse editorial coverage, there are a number of associations in our industry. I personally belong to APMI International (MPIF) for powder metals and additive manufacturing as well as AIST (Association for Iron & Steel Technology). That’s in addition to IHEA and MTI, of course.
GKN Powder Metallurgy opened its new North American headquarters and additive-manufacturing (AM) customer center in Auburn Hills, Mich. The 38,260-square-foot facility expands the company’s global 3D-printing network and extends its scope of in-house powder-metallurgy capabilities. Housing over 80 employees from the three GKN Powder Metallurgy businesses (Hoeganaes, GKN Sinter Metals and GKN Additive), the facility includes a 3,200-square-foot AM Customer Center equipped with two direct metal laser sinter (DMLS) printers.
Kobe Steel Ltd. plans to invest approximately $16 million to increase the production capacity of its steel powder plant in Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan. The production capacity of steel powder products will increase to 110,000 metric tons per year from the current 96,000 metric tons per year. Mass production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021. Kobe Steel will install another reduction furnace to enable higher treatment temperatures than the current furnaces.
Atlas Pressed Metals started construction on a 45,000-square-foot addition to its powdered-metal-component manufacturing plant in DuBois, Pa. The expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in October, will bring the facility to 100,000 square feet and allow for installation of larger-tonnage presses. Atlas’ on-site powdered-metal capabilities include sinter-hardening, machining, inspection and materials testing.
This article will review areas where the auto industry is already leveraging 3D-printing technology and the role of metal powders and industrial gases in several AM processes that involve laser metal fusion and laser metal deposition.
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