Sandvik continues to invest in metal powder capacity for additive manufacturing by installing two additional metal powders atomization towers at the production site in Neath, U.K. This expansion follows recent investment in a new plant for the manufacturing of titanium and nickel-based alloys for AM, in Sandviken, Sweden.
With 45 years of gas atomizing experience and nearly 160 years of leading materials expertise, Sandvik offers the widest range of metal powders for additive manufacturing on the market – including titanium, stainless steels, duplex- and super-duplex steels, nickel-based superalloys, aluminum, copper, and more. The alloys are all atomized in-house and carefully tailored to meet the needs of customers throughout the most demanding industries.
Annika Roos, Business Unit Manager of Sandvik’s metal powder business, commented: “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 atomization 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 wide range of Osprey metal powders, Sandvik has the in-house atomization capability to produce the market’s broadest portfolio of alloys – coupled with the metallurgical expertise to customize the best-suited material for each application and AM process technology.
“Materials technology is very much integrated with Sandvik’s DNA,” Annika Roos continued. “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 superalloys 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 powders 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 industrialization of AM – the company clearly conveys that atomization of 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, contributed: “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.”
The quality management system of the powder atomization facility in Neath, UK is certified in accordance with AS9100D, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 50001, and ISO 9001. In addition, Sandvik’s production site for titanium and nickel-based alloys located in Sandviken, Sweden, is also ISO 13485 certified for deliveries to the medical segment.