Global Advanced Metals has announced the commissioning of Tekna TEKSPHERO plasma spheroidization equipment at its Boyertown, Pennsylvania, location. The equipment is part of a new process development facility for the manufacture of spherical tantalum and other refractory metal powders for advanced additive manufacturing and metal injection molding.
The equipment produces spherical powders from a variety of tantalum feed materials. Particle sizes range from 10 to 100 microns, in narrow or broad particle size distributions. Standard oxygen content is in the range of 600 to 1000 ppm, but low oxygen (< 250 ppm) powders are an option.
Andrew O’Donovan, chief executive officer of Global Advanced Metals, said, “Our new process development facility enables us to create spherical tantalum powders that can be used for 3D printing of prototypes and commercial parts. The ability to rapidly prototype and produce complex tantalum parts via additive manufacturing offers designers new materials choices for applications in military, aerospace, medical and other demanding industries.”
GAM has developed relationships with experts in the field of laser and e-beam 3D printing to create prototype and commercial parts. Successful printing of tantalum parts with unique physical properties and complex geometries, including open cellular structures, has been demonstrated.