MPI: New Research Project Will Develop Metal 3D Printed Parts for Automotive and Other Applications

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[Image: MPI]

In the United Kingdom, a new project is being carried out that could change the way car parts are made. Liberty Powder Metals, which is owned by Liberty House Group, was granted £4.6 million to research alloy metal powders to be used in the 3D printing of automotive parts and other components. Last week, members of the Tees Valley Combined Authority signed off on the project, which will cost £9.83 million in total. It will be based at the Materials Processing Institute (MPI), an open access research center based in Middlesborough, England.

MPI has been around for 75 years and works mostly with steel and other metals, developing new materials, processes and technologies. Liberty Powder Metals will have access to an atomizer at the facility, which will allow for collaborative research projects.

Ben Houchen [Image: Evening Gazette]

“Staying ahead of the curve on new technologies like speciality metal powders, and the 3D printed products they’re used in, could create a whole new industrial cluster and many jobs for local workers,” said Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. “The fact that a company as big as Liberty has chosen to bring this project to the Tees Valley shows that we are a real magnet for research and development and foreign direct investment. “It just shows that if we keep backing our job creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and risk-takers, private investment will flood into our area to develop future-proof industries like this one.”

Local authorities are excited about the prospects that the project brings to the area.

“This is investment in the metals industry of the future, proving that the sector continues to have great prospects here in the Tees Valley,” said Cllr Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council. “It brings with it not only the promise of high skill jobs now, but of many more to come – benefiting both our ready-made highly skilled workforce and our young people currently in education and training and hoping to get jobs locally.”

“The Institute can bring a high level of scientific expertise to this project with our capabilities in advanced materials,” added Chris McDonald, Chief Executive of the MPI. “We are delighted to support Liberty in the next phase of its powder metals project which is essential for the continued development and refinement of additive manufacturing processes.”

Liberty House is an international metals and industrial group that specializes in commodities, metals recycling, and the manufacture of steel, aluminium and engineering products. It works with customers in the metals and steel manufacturing industries as well as in the automotive, aerospace, construction, marine, power generation, agriculture, mining and other sectors. The company was established in 1992 and is based in London.

“This is fantastic news for the area and will create additional skilled jobs, all of which will be at NVQ level 4 and above,” said Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher, the TVCA portfolio lead for education, employment and skills and leader of Hartlepool Council. “Liberty is operating at the cutting edge of development in this fast-moving field and I am proud that this funding will play a part in helping them to further advance their work and put them at the forefront of this industry. This funding will not only assist Liberty to stake their place in this international market, but will help shine a spotlight on the work being done in our region, bring further business to the area and give scope for yet more expansion in due course. The potential future benefits to the Tees Valley are projected to be a further £60m of investment and the creation of up to 70 additional jobs beyond 2025.”

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[Source: Teesside Live]

 

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