Blue Power now launched new high temperature gas atomization systems for platinum and other high melting alloys.
The way there was lengthy and basically a follow-on development that resulted from a research project with different objectives. Indutherm Casting Technology has been part of the German-Canadian research project HiPTSLAM since 2019. Research institutions, producers and end users are represented in this project with a broad know-how across the entire process chain of additive manufacturing, who are jointly researching new tool steel solutions. Indutherm‘s task was the process optimization in the high-temperature atomization of steel, CoCr etc. and was carried out in close cooperation with Rosswag Engineering, also a HiPTSLAM member. Their research resulted in the further development of the current gas atomizers into HTC versions with direct inductive heating. Together with specially developed materials and geometries for crucibles and other parts, essential process improvements for the atomization of high-performance steels have been achieved so far, especially regarding throughput, powder yield, safety, and cost efficiency.
Starting from this technological level, it now seemed only a small step to mastering the next challenge in high-temperature atomization, the atomization of platinum alloys. Reliably realizing a melting temperature of over 2000°C was still a relatively simple matter. Finding the right components which are crucial for a stable platinum atomization process, was much more difficult.
HTC+ for a large number of applications
The gas atomizers of the AUG series now being presented bear the addition HTC+ in their names. Their induction melting system reach a maximum temperature of 2100° C. Oxidation-free processing in the closed-chamber machine by means of degassing, vacuum and protective gas features guarantee maximum purity of the produced powder. The AUG HTC+ produce fine powders <20 µm from high melting special alloys e.g., based on platinum or chrome for a wide range of powder applications as LPBF, LAM, MIM, Binder Jetting and more. Three different AUG versions are available in the HTC+ specification, offering capacities from ≈ max. 6 kg Pt (AUG 500 HTC+) to ≈ max. 70 kg Pt (AUG 3000 HTC+).
The final atomization tests with up to 20 kg of 950 PtCu, 950 PtRu, 900 PtRh and with pure platinum showed high process stability and excellent results in terms of particle size distribution, purity and flowability. This opens numerous new application possibilities in the areas of watch and jewelry production, in medical technology, in aerospace and many more. Furthermore, the material loss is a key factor especially if it comes to precious metals. With Indutherm‘s roots in the precious metals market, it almost goes without saying that the machine is designed for easy cleaning. It is equipped with a gas separation system (by treatment in cyclone) and a filtration system.
The new high-temperature atomizers are met with great interest from the field of materials research, as they also have the best prerequisites for the atomization of metal-ceramic compounds, intermetallic compounds, or High Entropy alloys.
The Indutherm / Blue Power team will be available to discuss further possible applications at WorldPM 2022 as well as at Formnext 2022.
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