Pyrogenesis completes testing of NexGen 3D printing powder production technology
Pyrogenesis, a specialist in plasma atomization technology for the production of 3D printing powders, announced the successful testing of its NexGen additive manufacturing powder production line.
Following a strategic decision to delay commercial production, the Montreal firm was able to implement improvements and has now tested batch-to-batch consistency in its production line. The refinement period allowed Pyrogenesis to increase its production rate, reduce its CAPEX, reduce OPEX and decrease particle size distribution for better consistency.
The company has also started to commercially produce NexGen metallic 3D printing powders for its customers ahead of schedule.
P. Peter Pascali, CEO and President of PyroGenesis, said: “We are pleased to announce this important milestone, almost two months ahead of the schedule announced on April 19th.e. We believe that the NexGen powder production line will allow PyroGenesis to uniquely process materials that until today did not appear to be economically feasible. “
The NexGen plasma atomization system
The new NexGen technology is designed as an upgrade to Pyrogenesis’ original plasma atomization process (PAP), which the company invented in 1995. Designed specifically to facilitate high production rates at low cost, NexGen would be able to produce metallic 3D printing powders at a rate of over 25kg / h. Pyrogenesis says the production line already has several prominent aerospace customers on the waiting list.
Beyond the simple creation of fine metal powders, the technology is also capable of eliminating industrial waste. Since the initial development phase, Pyrogenesis has equipped the NexGen Plasma Atomization System with several major enhancements, maximizing throughput while dramatically increasing the consistency of powder size. The company even claims that NexGen has exceeded all known and published plasma atomization production rates for titanium.
Pascali adds: “It is very exciting to know that we will now be delivering powders to very demanding and distinguished customers. However, I would like to warn readers not to expect hundreds of tons of powder orders next week. The strategy we have developed has worked well for us so far, and we see no reason to change it. “
Next steps in pyrogenesis
At the turn of 2021, Pyrogenesis announced the start of a phase of increased growth and the company began trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange shortly thereafter. In addition to launching NexGen, the company also ramped up production with its patented plasma atomization process, forecasting a significant 367% increase in annual revenue in its preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Now in good standing, Pyrogenesis plans to complete its final set of qualification processes and secure significant long-term contracts for NexGen, generating recurring revenue for years to come.
Massimo Dattilo, Vice President of PyroGenesis Additive, concludes: “It will obviously take time, but we are there now. With the benefits of the NexGen powder production line, we believe it is only a matter of time, given the large aerospace companies and leading OEMs that are already waiting for the powders of this new production line at the cutting edge of technology. “
Like any industry niche, the metal powder production sector has several major players competing. Earlier this month, a Canadian mining and metallurgical company Rio Tinto has developed a new steel 3D printing powder using water atomization technology. Developed and tested at the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Quebec, the new steel powder has shown that water atomization is a more affordable route to powder production, beating gas atomizers and high cost plasma.
Elsewhere, Kanthal, the heating technology brand of the global engineering group Sandvik, has recently invested in state-of-the-art atomization equipment to further develop its own powder metallurgy operations. In collaboration with the Swedish Metal Research Institute Swim, Kanthal will use its € 2 million equipment to research metal powders for 3D printing and hot isostatic pressing applications.
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The featured image shows a plasma atomizer developed by Pyrogenesis. Photo via PyroGenesis.