Nanoval GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, Germany, manufactures a wide range of metal powders for numerous applications using its own, patented atomisation technology. Currently the company focuses on traditional Powder Metallurgy technologies, but it is now responding to the growing demand from the Additive Manufacturing sector.
“As powder manufacturers we welcome demand from this market as we believe in its huge potential. If things work out, if quality and productivity in Additive Manufacturing improve so as to lift it towards the industrial level, then this will become a very interesting market for us,” stated Christian Gerking, Project Manager for Systems Producing Metal Powders and Fiber Fleeces at Nanoval, in a recent interview published by the VDMA.
The company can offer an extensive range of metal powders to the Additive Manufacturing industry. “Apart from poisonous materials like led or thallium, we offer just about all metals which can be melted in a crucible. So far, there have been limits for highly concentrated titanium alloys, as the highly reactive titanium reacts with the crucible ceramics’ oxygen. In order to avoid this, we have developed a setup in which the material is melted from the bar, and then it is atomised with the Nanoval technology without a crucible. We also attain a very narrow grain size distribution with this,” stated Gerking.
Nanoval has vast experience in producing bespoke batches of metal powders. “We have already produced powders out of more than 750 different alloys – and we are open to new challenges,” added Gerking. The company can also offer small amounts of powder for first testing and predevelopment work.
“We ourselves have gained experience with a multitude of materials which we atomise according to customers’ requirements into spherical powders of different grain sizes. These can be very fine powders of 3 µm to 15 µm, or the grain sizes customary in additive laser processes, about 15 µm to 45 µm. Our highly homogenous technology has the advantage of high yields with small grain sizes – and we can adjust the particle size through process parameters,” stated Gerking.
The company recognises the need to work with system manufacturers and users in order to fine tune the technologies and its powders. “We are definitely no experts in the laser sintering technology. Our competence lies in technologies for powder production; and as I said, we know how to suit alloys, grain sizes, and amounts to our customer’s specific needs,” added Gerking.