Uddeholm, a voestalpine company headquartered in Hagfors, Värmland, Sweden, has completed installation at its new powder production plant, dedicated to the production of metal powders for Additive Manufacturing. The investment in the new plant was approved and announced in May 2017, and Uddeholm stated that the first test melts have now been produced.
Uddeholm entered the Additive Manufacturing market with the release of its first metal powder product, AM Corrax® stainless steel powder, was released in June 2017. The company stated that its investment in the new plant strengthens its position as a leading provider of high-performance tool steels.
The plant comprises a brand new 1,450 m2 facility in Hagfors, and is the first new building to be constructed on the Uddeholm site since 1981. It will accommodate melting and atomisation equipment as well as offering space for raw materials handling, an automatic sieving station, a packing station and office space.
Powder production will be carried out in a vacuum induction melting, close-coupled atomiser with a total melt capacity of 500 kg. Using this system, melt is poured through a ceramic nozzle and atomised into powder using a high-pressure nitrogen stream; a new gas distribution system has also been installed in close proximity to the building to provide the atomiser with high-pressure nitrogen.
Testing was expected to conclude this month, with the company set to officially begin production soon after. The new facility significantly expands Uddeholm’s powder production capacity, but the company added that preparations for future expansions to are already in place.