Image credit: ArcelorMittal

A new business unit, ArcelorMittal Powders, has been established to commercialise the output of the atomiser.

Indian steel giant ArcelorMittal is the latest newcomer to effectively join the AM industry. So far, the Belgian subsidiary has been working behind the scenes on a pilot application in the steel industry with Guaranteed, a 3D printing service provider where it’s also a shareholder.

Today, it is also building an industrial-scale inert gas atomiser in Aviles, Spain, to produce steel powders for AM technologies such as laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), binder jetting (BJ) and direct energy deposition (DED).

The atomiser, which will start production in January 2024, will have a large batch-size production capability, from 200 kg to 3 tonnes, and an initial annual capacity of 1000 tonnes. This will enable ArcelorMittal to supply significant volumes of steel powders with consistent quality, reliability and traceability, meeting the high standards and specifications of the AM industry.

“Additive manufacturing is an area we have been investing in and building our capabilities for several years, and we are now ready to scale up our production and offer our customers and partners a reliable and competitive source of high-quality steel powders. From our facility in Spain, we will offer a range of steel powders tailored to our customers’ needs. A technology as innovative and disruptive as additive manufacturing not only allows us to think about changes in the design and manufacturing process of many parts and components we use today, but also exploit one of the inherently sustainable characteristics of steel – its recyclability,” Colin Hautz, CEO of ArcelorMittal Powders, states.

The steel powders will be offered in size ranges suitable for all existing powder-based metal additive technologies in manufacturing industries such as aerospace, defence, automotive, medical, and energy. They can also be used in the latest technological developments such as the brake disc coatings being developed to help Automotive OEMs and Tier Ones comply with the EU7 regulation on particle emissions. A layer of powder deposited on the brake disc provides wear and corrosion resistance which significantly reduces the particulate emissions of braking.

Marketed under the AdamIQ™ brand name, ArcelorMittal’s product portfolio will include stainless steels (316L, 430L, 17-4PH), tool steels (H11, H13, M300) and low alloy steels (a dual-phase alloy; 4140 equivalent). Drawing on its metallurgical expertise, ArcelorMittal’s research and development team dedicated to AM technologies and steel powder production intends to add further steel powder products for customers to test in 2024.

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