credit: SSAB

Swedish steel giant SSAB is making a real splash in the industry with the launch of an emission-free steel powder designed for Additive Manufacturing.

For the newcomer, this product would be a “world’s first”. The powder would create opportunities for those who are looking to 3D print steel without fossil carbon dioxide emissions. It would combine the properties of SSAB’s high-strength steel with the light structural possibilities of 3D printing.

SSAB has already proven it’s possible to produce steel without carbon dioxide emissions. Now we’re merging emission-free steel with powder technology to enable sustainable 3D-printed design with unlimited imagination,” says Johnny Sjöström, EVP and Head of SSAB Special Steels.

Last year, SSAB launched its first conventional steel powder to the market, SSAB AM Engineering, and now the portfolio is expanded with SSAB AM Tough Zero®. SSAB will also be able to offer its unique fossil-free steel, based on HYBRIT technology, as a powder in limited volumes.

In 2020, SSAB in Oxelösund invested in a steel powder production facility to produce premium advanced high-strength steel powder for additive manufacturing, also known as 3D-printing, as a complement to SSAB’s regular steel offering.

Steel powder is ideally suited for limited series of tailormade components or spare parts requiring high structural integrity and optimal functionality. It can be used in a wide variety of industries, from consumer goods to heavy machinery to automotive and more.

“3D-printing high-strength steel components will help reduce the amount of raw material used, and cut the weight and increase functionality of the final product. This is especially important for industries, such as automotives or heavy machinery, that are trying to save weight, increase performance, and reduce their CO2 footprint,” says Jesper Vang, Head of SSAB Powder Technology.

To make powder, molten steel tailored for 3D-printing is broken up by high-pressurized atomization gas, creating small spherical droplets which are solidified into powder. The steel powder is also produced using only fossil-free energy sources.

SSAB has already provided prototype fossil-free steel powder to selected customers. In 2023, HT Laser 3D-printed the first fossil-free steel component suitable for a forest machine, and mining company Epiroc revealed a prototype hydraulic block for a rock drill in conventional steel powder and said it was exploring the possibility of using fossil-free powder. In 2022, Triwa launched the first consumer product made with fossil-free steel powder – a watch.

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