Freemelt secures order for tungsten feasibility study in fusion energy

July 4, 2024

July 4, 2024

Freemelt AB, based in Mölndal, Sweden, has received an order from a North American customer for a feasibility study targeting tungsten material process and application development for fusion energy applications. The customer is reported to have experience and expertise in Additive Manufacturing technology and various refractory metals including tungsten, and is known for its work to accelerate the development of fusion energy as a sustainable source of energy.

The global energy industry is undergoing significant development, driven by a growing awareness of the need for sustainable, fossil-free energy sources. Among these, fusion energy has gained substantial interest as a potential solution, attracting some $6.21 billion in private and government funding (as off 2023). There is a trend towards increased government interest in fusion, with the US, Japan, Germany, and the UK announcing programmes to support the commercialisation of fusion energy. The prediction is that the first fusion energy power plant will deliver electricity to the grid before 2035.

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Tungsten is a critical material for the fusion energy industry due to its unique properties, including high density, strength, and resistance to extreme temperatures and wear. Traditional manufacturing of tungsten components is challenging and costly, especially when aiming for the highest material properties. Additive Manufacturing offers a promising solution to these challenges. AM enables the production of tungsten components with complex geometries that are difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional methods. Additionally, AM can reduce material waste, shorten production times, and allow for more flexible manufacturing processes. Freemelt’s Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-EB) technology is particularly attractive as it enables efficient manufacturing of tungsten parts with fewer design limitations, while achieving the highest material properties.

“I’m thankful that another North American customer has chosen Freemelt’s E-PBF technology,” stated Daniel Gidlund, Freemelt CEO. ”This order further confirms Freemelts unique experience and capabilities of printing tungsten and it expands our footprint in North America, a market experiencing substantial growth within our target industries, Energy, Defense, and MedTech. Feasibility studies like this, are important for Freemelt’s commercialisation as they are generated by high-demanding industrial applications suitable for E-PBF technology and will over time result in orders for the industrial machine, eMELT.”

“Further, this order confirms the critical role Freemelts E-PBF technology plays for high-demanding materials such as tungsten for use in Fusion Energy powerplants. Providing components for Fusion Energy applications is particularly challenging due to the harsh conditions involved, which is why it is especially rewarding that Freemelt has earned the trust to support this customer in this project. The integration of our E-PBF technology with tungsten manufacturing has the potential to significantly advance the commercialisation of Fusion Energy production,” Gidlund added.

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July 4, 2024

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