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Sandvik increases manufacturing capacity in metal powders for Additive Manufacturing

Sandvik increases manufacturing capacity in metal powders for Additive Manufacturing

Sandvik continues to invest in metal powder capacity for additive manufacturing (AM) by installing two additional atomisation towers at the production site in Neath, UK. This expansion follows a recent investment in a new plant for the manufacturing of titanium and nickel-based alloys for AM, in Sandviken, Sweden.

Annika Roos, business unit manager of Sandvik’s metal powder business, says: “Sandvik offers extensive capabilities in terms of providing high-quality and consistent metal powders, to customers engaged in a range of additive manufacturing processes such as laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), electron beam melting (EBM), and binder jetting. By installing these new atomisation towers – one of which is already fully operational and quality assured, while the other is under construction – we bring our total tower count to twelve, and thereby significantly increase our ability to produce even larger quantities of premium metal powders.”

While much attention in the AM arena focuses on revolutionary designs, innovation on a material level is equally important. With its range of Osprey metal powders, Sandvik has the in-house capability to produce a broad portfolio of alloys – coupled with the metallurgical expertise to customise the best suited material for each application and AM process technology.

“Materials technology is very much integrated with Sandvik’s DNA,” Roos continues. “From our own AM service business, we have first-hand experience of printing in a wide range of materials for additive manufacturing – from tool steels and duplex steels to titanium and super alloys for high-temperature applications – and understand the importance of using premium raw materials in order to obtain an optimal end result. Gearing up our manufacturing capacity means we are now even better positioned to meet the increased demand in terms of metal powers for AM.”

Through Sandvik’s ‘Plan it, Print it, Perfect it’ approach to additive manufacturing – stating that printing is just one of the seven steps you have to master in order to succeed with the industrialisation of AM – the company asserts that obtaining the most optimal material, tailor-made for your AM process and final component is the first, and perhaps even most important step.

Dr Paul Davies, technical solutions manager at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing, says: “Additive manufacturing is in general challenging enough without questionable raw materials. Predictable and consistent powder flow is key when it comes to part quality and final properties – and since we have such a wide range of printing technologies for metals in-house, we can make sure all metal powders are tailored to the customers’ specific manufacturing process as well.”

 

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