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Carpenter Additive Increases AM Powder Manufacturing Capacity – AMS Speaker Spotlight

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The demand for metal additive manufacturing (AM) powder has never been greater. Carpenter Additive is answering the call by expanding manufacturing capabilities in facilities around the world.

High-volume manufacturing in Torshälla, Sweden

The Carpenter Additive facility in Torshälla has been active in AM since AM technology was invented. A major player in stainless steel and tool steel materials for the industrial sector, the site has produced metal powder for high-profile nuclear projects like the ITER fusion reactor in southern France and the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. The facility is also an independent supplier of powder and HIP’ed products for the tooling industry and makes materials for additive production and other surface enhancements.

“Our product portfolio is extensive, and we have the capacity to produce large amounts of powder,” says Managing Director Per Ingo. Roughly 50 team members work around the clock five days a week to produce 4,000 tons of material every year, and there are plans to boost capacity in the coming year to meet the growing demand for AM material.

Applications for Torshälla’s tight-tolerance, high-quality materials range from the runway — marking high fashion pieces to prevent counterfeit — to the bottom of the ocean — collecting oil and gas from deepwater drills — and everywhere in between.

Exceeding expectations in Athens, Alabama

Home to 100 additive and specialty alloy experts and a 3,000-pound Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) gas atomizer, the Athens site produces thousands of tons of atomized metal powder every year, as well as bar and billet for premium rotating grade aerospace and energy products.

“We bring in raw materials, toss them in the furnace to make powder, customize based on application needs, and then bring them to market,” says Plant Manager Jordan Ralph. The facility specializes in superalloys and cobalt-based alloys, but it does a lot of cutting-edge developmental work for customers. “We have so much capability in-house. When you pair that with the people we have on the floor, it makes us really special.”

Exceeding expectations is the norm. Last December, a large space manufacturer came to Ralph with high volume needs and a tight timeline. The team turned around 15,000 kgs of custom specification material in four weeks. “We are willing to move mountains to serve customers,” says Ralph.

The Athens campus also houses Carpenter Technology’s Emerging Technology Center (ETC), where on-site application engineers and metallurgists work with customers to develop, test, and scale-up new alloy solutions.

Driving innovation in Liverpool, England

Carpenter Additive

Distributing metal AM powder throughout Europe and beyond, the Carpenter Additive location in Liverpool manufactures nickel, steel, copper, and titanium alloys for customers in aerospace, industrial, and medical markets. The facility has an Electrode Inert Gas Atomization (EIGA) unit focused on reactive alloys and a Vacuum Induction Gas Atomization (VIGA) unit that is used primarily for nickel and copper alloys.

“The processes we have and the size of the atomizers allow us to make smaller quantities compared to our other sites,” explains Plant Manager Nick Weeks. “We often work on less common alloys for our customers to support their new product development. Our team of experts has a lot of information to help them through the AM process.”

The site has more than 50 AM and metallurgical experts on staff, including a full-time R&D team that works closely with customers on tight-tolerance applications and new product development. The alloys and systems created in Liverpool can be found zooming around F1 race tracks, powering large-scale industrial AM, enabling less invasive surgeries, and exploring outer space.

Innovation is the name of the game. The team recently developed equipment that takes optical images of powder to see how it changes through the process of powder reuse, data that can be used to ensure quality and determine best-fit uses. Up next will be discovering how to create reactive alloys with VIGA.

Carpenter Additive

On-demand availability for in-demand materials

Carpenter Additive is a global leader in manufacturing metal powder, providing supply chain stability for AM partners in medicine, aerospace, defense, energy, transportation, and beyond. More than 25 quality-assured, AM-optimized metal powders are in stock and available to ship within 24 hours. For non-standard applications, Carpenter Additive’s metallurgical experts provide custom alloy development tailored to specific mechanical property needs.

Carpenter Additive is sponsoring Session 3: New Developments in AM Materials at Additive Manufacturing Strategies, taking place in New York City from February 7-9, 2023. Ben Ferrar, Vice President, Carpenter Additive, will be giving the Session 3 Keynote: New Developments in AM Materials on February 7. Register for your ticket to attend here

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