Blue Power Casting Systems GmbH, Walzbachtal, Germany, has launched a new high-temperature gas atomisation system for platinum and other high melting alloys following a collaboration with Indutherm Casting Technology, a fellow subsidiary of Indutherm Erwärmungsanlagen GmbH.
The development is the result of a German-Canadian research project titled HiPTSLAM which began in 2019. Indutherm Casting Technology participated in the project along with research institutions, producers and end users to collectively identify new tool steel solutions. Indutherm’s task was the process optimisation in the high-temperature atomisation of steel, CoCr etc. and was carried out in close cooperation with Rosswag Engineering, also a HiPTSLAM member.
This research resulted in the development of new HTC versions of the company’s AUG series of gas atomisers. With direct inductive heating, the HTC+ version now reaches a maximum temperature of 2100° C. Oxidation-free processing in the closed-chamber machine by means of degassing, vacuum and protective gas features are said to guarantee maximum purity of the produced powder.
The AUG HTC+ produces fine powders <20 µm from high melting special alloys e.g., based on platinum or chrome for a wide range of powder applications such as laser-based Additive Manufacturing, Metal Injection Moulding (MIM), Binder Jetting (BJT) 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+).
Atomisation tests with up to 20 kg of 950 PtCu, 950 PtRu, 900 PtRh and with pure platinum have showed high process stability and excellent results in terms of particle size distribution, purity and flowability. This is said to open numerous new application possibilities in the areas of watch and jewellery production, medical technology, aerospace and more. Additionally, material loss is a key factor, especially when it comes to precious metals. The machine is designed for easy cleaning and is equipped with a gas separation system (by treatment in a cyclone) and a filtration system.
The new high-temperature atomisers are said to have been met with great interest in the field of materials research, as they also have the best prerequisites for the atomisation of metal-ceramic compounds, intermetallic compounds, or high entropy alloys.
Blue Power Casting Systems and Indutherm Casting Technology were founded by Indutherm Erwärmungsanlagen GmbH in 2016. The creation of the two companies was said to enable them to focus more on the different application areas, with Indutherm supplying the jewellery and dental sector while Blue Powder concentrates on industrial metal casting and powder production applications.