PyroGenesis Canada Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, a designer, developer and manufacturer of plasma atomised metal powder, plasma waste-to-energy systems and plasma torch products, reports that it has now produced titanium powder on its new NexGen™ Plasma Atomization System with production rates in excess of 25 kg/h.
According to the company, these increased production rates were achieved with lower operating (OPEX) and capital (CAPEX) costs, while maintaining all of the characteristics demanded by the metal Additive Manufacturing industry, such as oxygen content, flowability, density, etc. Of note, this increased production rate was achieved at lower OPEX per hour, resulting in significant cost-per-kilogram savings.
“A limiting factor in titanium adoption in the marketplace has been its cost,” explained Massimo Dattilo, Vice President of PyroGenesis Additive. “By lowering the cost of a typically expensive product, NexGen has opened the door to other markets and applications which, until now, found titanium to be too expensive to utilise.”
“We expect that the NexGen price reduction will drive an increased adoption of PyroGenesis’ powders into new markets and applications where the higher cost of plasma atomised powders was typically restrictive,” he continued.
The increased production rate and lower cost of powder production on the NexGen unit is also expected to make it possible for PyroGenesis to produce new materials, via plasma atomisation, that have typically been cost restrictive.
“As a result of NexGen’s game-changing advantages, there is now an opportunity for the Additive Manufacturing industry to start experimenting with other materials which can now be produced economically with the NexGen Plasma Atomization System,” Dattilo added. “Essentially, NexGen™ will allow PyroGenesis to convert low-value materials to high-quality powder that, until now, have been deemed to be too expensive to produce.”
“In addition to a significant reduction in OPEX, the NexGen technology also boasts significant CAPEX reductions,” stated P Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. “The CAPEX reductions occur on two fronts: (i) the reactor itself has been simplified compared to conventional plasma atomisation resulting in lower fabrication costs and, (ii) given the increased production rate, the number of reactors and associated service equipment required has been reduced by up to a factor of four.”
“This is a clear advantage over anyone using our legacy technology,” he continued. “We are now in a rush to incorporate these advantages into our current production process before it is frozen during audits by aerospace clients. The production process is typically frozen by an aerospace end-user as a condition for contracting powder long-term.”