H.C. Starck, already a player in the metal powder business for 3D printing, has decided to acquire a minority share in another metals company that has something special in their treasure trove that many in the industry want.
Swedish company Metasphere Technology has developed a new method for producing spherical metal powders, and while just the term invokes visions of magic, they may be able to make that happen for many in the industry who want to get their hands on the unique material due not only to its strength, but enormous potential for versatility.
H.C. Starck, with facilities all over the world, is already a leader in metals and ceramics. With this new partnership, they will be able to add to the list of offerings of 3D printing materials for their international client base which already enjoys technology and refractory metals, advanced ceramics, thermal spray powders, and atomized metal powders and alloys.
The two companies, while not releasing the total specifics of their deal, have announced that H.C. Starck will retain sales rights for new material produced with Metasphere’s proprietary methods at a new production line the partners are planning to build in Lulea, Sweden. H.C. Starck will also provide support for customers, and they will expand production as consumer demand inevitably grows.
“With our many years of experience in the processing of technology metals and technical ceramics, we see great growth potential for our company in additive manufacturing,” says Andreas Meier, CEO of the H.C. Starck Group. “Metasphere Technology is known in the market for its proven capacity to innovate and therefore is the right technology partner for us. Thanks to our cooperation, our two companies will not only grow in the additive manufacturing market but will even provide the industry itself with impetus for growth.”
These advanced, specialized powders are produced through Metasphere’s technology, which uses a range of metals and electrically conducive elements as ingredients to produce a recipe on the nano level. The resulting spherical metal powder, perfectly spherical and consistent, is highly attractive for their client base as it lends itself so willingly to customization, allowing for choice of particle size.
“Among other things, spherical powders have extremely high flowability, which is a key precondition for the production of high-quality components using additive manufacturing,” Meier said. “Since a multitude of materials can be processed with Metasphere’s new technology, we will be able to offer our additive-manufacturing customers a much-expanded product portfolio with new and highly innovative powders beyond the materials processed to this point.”
As this global metal supplier and Swedish innovator merge their talents and technology together, we will follow the innovations their subsequent customers are able to produce, previously not possible without this new manufacturing technology and materials. For everyone involved, it’s all about growth–and strategic partnerships sharing innovations and goals, working symbiotically.