MaterialsMetal Additive ManufacturingProduct Launch

PyroGenesis Fires Up New Plasma Atomization AM Powder Production System

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PyroGenesis Canada, a high-tech company that designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes plasma waste-to-energy systems and plasma torch products has completed the assembly of its first plasma atomization powder production system, with the first powder run exceeding expectations and ramp-up already underway. The ramp-up is to take place linearly over approximately four months and is perfectly in line with previous announcements made on January 23, 2017 and March 14, 2017,

“Although we were confident we would complete the System and first run on schedule and on budget, it is always nice to tick that box”, said P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. “We were challenged at times by significant delays from suppliers, but it is a testament to the dedication and commitment of PyroGenesis’ team that we make this announcement today. A dedication and commitment one can expect to see throughout this project.”

PyroGenesis’ System uses Plasma Atomization to make, small, uniform, fully dense and spherical metal powders that flow like water, and which are highly sought after in the Additive Manufacturing industry. PyroGenesis is the inventor of Plasma Atomization. The Company first began producing powders using this technology for the biomedical industry, between 2001-2004.

“The first production run not only exceeded our expectations in terms of powder quality and production rate”, said Pierre Carabin, Chief Technology Officer of PyroGenesis, “but it also marked both the official start of the ramp-up period and a critical step in achieving our stated goal to become a leading supplier of high purity powders catering to the Additive Manufacturing Industry. The first powders produced were Ti-6Al-4V, one of the most sought after powder on the market. In addition, the System will allow PyroGenesis to produce other materials such as Titanium alloys and nickel based superalloy materials.

In 2015, PyroGenesis invested approximately $2MM in improving both the production rate and particle size distribution, which not only lead to a patent pending, but also to PyroGenesis’ decision to re-enter the market and produce powders for the Additive Manufacturing industry. The System is the first of many PyroGenesis expects to make to address this increasing need for metal powders in the Additive Manufacturing industry.

Additionally, and as previously announced, powders produced during the ramp-up phase will be available for sale. The initial focus will be on producing pure Titanium (CP Ti) and Ti-6Al-4V powders however PyroGenesis has also received interest for other metal powders and expects to attend to this as well.

“What is noteworthy, beyond the technical successes announced today, is the continued interest we are receiving for the supply of our powders from potential customers, the volume of which, and from whom the interest is coming from, continues to take us all by surprise,” said Mr. Pascali. “We did not expect this type of interest before ramp-up was complete, and we would consider any sample orders (i.e. up to 500kg) made before ramp up is complete, to be very significant, and a further validation of our strategic decision to move into powder production.”

Mr Pascali added that there are many factors which set PyroGenesis apart from all other powder producers. For one, the fact that PyroGenesis is the inventor of Plasma Atomization, and has one of the largest concentrations of plasma expertise under one roof, has enabled the Company to not only improve the process significantly, but allow it to continuously improve and thereby enable Additive Manufacturing. Let us not forget that PyroGenesis has produced Titanium powders in the past, and is not new to this prospect. Add to this the fact that there is serious consolidation taking place in the industry which is exasperating an already serious lack of powder suppliers, particularly of the characteristics we supply, all bodes well for PyroGenesis’ strategy to supply unique powders to the Additive Manufacturing industry.

“In short, we remain confident – Mr Pascali concluded – and recent events including such a successful first powder production run, have only made us more optimistic than ever before, that PyroGenesis will quickly become a leading metallic powder supplier to the Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) industry.”

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