Amastan Technologies (N. Andover, MA) has scaled a microwave-based plasma production technology, trade named UniMelt,™ to spheroidize and tailor ceramic, metal, and inorganic materials to meet the requirements of today’s additive manufacturing users. Operating at 6000K, the UniMelt™ process has demonstrated the capability to manufacture a wide range of spheroidized materials including oxides, carbides, nitrides, oxynitrides, borides, as well metal alloys including Ti64, Inconel, stainless steel, CoCr, and Rhenium. The flexibility of the Unimelt process uniquely enables the use of reclaimed end-of-life parts, used powders, or machine shop “scrap” as feedstock to produce new AM quality powders enabling “Grave to Cradle™” lifecycle management. In addition, significant cost reductions for Amastan metal powders are achievable.
This presentation will describe the Unimelt production process; explore how it creates metal powders with engineered control of size & diameter, density, morphology, and chemical composition; and describe their use on laser bed, Ebeam, and binder-jet AM systems.
- Understand the means by which scrap superalloys or titanium can be converted to powders for additive manufacturing
- Gain an understanding how additive manufacturing costs can be reduced by the recycling of machine shop scrap and used powders
- Explore the practical application of plasma technology in life cycle management of key aerospace materials
Why Is It Important?
Additive Manufacturing (AM) represents a major paradigm shift in manufacturing where a single piece of manufacturing equipment can create parts from various unrelated designs without retooling, the capability of making highly complex forms not achievable with traditional machining or casting, while streamlining the development process and dramatically reducing time to qualify and fly new parts. Widespread adoption of AM for aerospace requires the production of highly reproducible parts from AM equipment. Key to achieving that goal is the availability of metal powders of unsurpassed quality, reliable performance on all types of AM printers, and are more affordable. Scrap materials represent an untapped source of additive powders provided quality can be maintained. This talk will present a novel manufacturing method to create aerospace quality additive manufacturing powders from scrap materials.