Powder Production

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Near-Net-Shape (NNS) Manufacturing technologies - including Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing - are increasingly being utilised by key industries such as: aerospace, automotive, and bio medical, to produce and modify complex parts and components. 

Royce at the University of Sheffield develops novel, bespoke alloys in small powder batches, through utilising our state-of-the-art powder production equipments. This can be trialled and evaluated through various NNS technologies in order to achieve the optimum feedstock for each process. Our facilities, the Royce Translational Centre and the Royce Discovery Centre, enable us to produce metal powders using atomisation and milling, before the resulting powders are optimised through the spheroidisation process. 


OUR EQUIPMENT:

Arcast ATM DM50
Tekna Teksphero 15
Union Process HD-01
Union Process 5-1

Photo of Arcast DM50

ARCAST ATM DM50

Manufacture of spherical metal powder using highly reactive melts. 


USES/APPLICATIONS

The Atomiser is used to develop new powders for AM industries for a diverse range of applications, from Aerospace and medicine, to automotive. Gas atomisation produces spherical powders from metals such as titanium, iron, copper, nickel, and cobalt-based alloys, which have a high cleanliness level and are ideal for use in Additive Manufacturing. 


DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Our inert gas atomiser incorporates induction melting capabilities to manufacture high quality, technically-advanced metal powders from titanium alloys and highly reactive, refractory metals. This atomiser gives the capability to produce bulk amounts of powder in a controlled atmosphere. 

The size range depends on the material, pour temperature, and the interaction with the gas jet. The fine particles will be small and spherical, achieving sizes as small as a few microns. 


DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • TYPICAL BAR SIZE: Between 200mm and 1000mm
  • CHARGE SIZE: 8 - 50kg
  • TYPICAL RESULTING POWDER SIZE: Between 20 - 150μm

The atomisation chamber is stainless steel with 150mm view ports. 


LOCATION
Royce Translational Centre, Sheffield Business Park, Europa Ave, Tinsley, Sheffield, S9 1ZA

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TEKNA TEKSPHERO 15

Spheroidisation uses high energy plasma to create highly spherical and dense metal powders from those produced by sintering, grinding, and atomisation techniques, providing more consistent results. Spherical powders have better flowability inside an AM machine, meaning less downtime and faster production. 


USES/APPLICATIONS

Powder type: (This machine is not suitable for Al, Be, Zr, Mg, B)

  • Tantalum, tungsten, and titanium alloys
  • Refractory metals such as molybdenum and niobium as well as nickel based super alloys

The plasma spheroidisation of used powders in order to reduce costs for the user, but also help to ensure the quality of the recycled powder. Additionally, the plasma spheroidisation process removes contamination and reduces oxygen that can accumulate when powder is re-used. 


DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Spheroidisation reduce internal porosity and provides high packing density while removing contamination and increasing purity. Removing excess oxygen from the material helps to improve mechanical properties in the completed part/component. 

The TekSphero 15 enables us to meet the most demanding powder metallurgy applications including AM, metal injection moulding, and hot isostatic pressing. The powder developed at 15kW can easily be scaled up for production at higher power levels. It has a feed rate of up to 1kg/h and can produce powder sizes of up to 200μm.

The machine is suitable for processing refractory metals such as tantalum, tungsten, titanium, molybdenum, and niobium, as well as nickel-based superalloys. 


DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

  • Plate power 15kW HF output
  • Manual operation
  • Nominal operating frequency in the 2 - 5.0 MHz range
  • Power requirements: 380 - 415 Volts, three (3) phases, 50/60 Hz operation
  • Very flexible for batch process
  • Size: 2.5*0.9*2.0 (L*w*h)
  • Powder size up to 200μm
  • Feed rate: up to 1kg/h

Capacity of Plasma Treatment:

  • MELTING POINT: No limit
  • SPHEROIDISATION: Up to 100%
  • DENSIFICATION FACTOR: Up to 3 times
  • PURITY ENHANCEMENT FACTOR: Up to 10 times
  • RAW MATERIALS: Crushed, sponge, fibres, atomised solution

LOCATION
Royce Translational Centre, Sheffield Business Park, Europa Ave, Tinsley, Sheffield, S9 1ZA

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UNION PROCESS-HD-01

Fast, efficient, and reliable fine grinding of media including: carbon steel, stainless steel, chrome, and tungsten carbide.


USES/APPLICATIONS

The Attritor is ideal for formulating, quality control, and scale-up studies. Results are repeatable from one test grind to another for maximum credibility. 

With the Attritor, users can choose wet or dry grinding, introduce inert grinding speed, overcome product contamination, change media size and type, get precise energy consumption, and information, all on one machine. 


DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The HD-01 is a research attritor, ideal for formulation, quality control, and scale-up studies. Results are repeatable from one test grind to another for maximum credibility. Designed for media from 1/2" to 1/4", it can be used for wet or dry grinding with shaft speeds from 100 to 650 RPM.

With this machine, we are able to introduce an inert gas, overcome product contamination, change media size and type, and obtain precise energy consumption. The end product size can be as fine as 2-3 microns when operating in batch mode. 


LOCATION
Royce Translational Centre, Sheffield Business Park, Europa Ave, Tinsley, Sheffield, S9 1ZA

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UNION PROCESS-5-1

Fast, efficient, and reliable fine grinding of media including carbon steel, stainless steel, chrome, and tungsten carbide. 


USES/APPLICATIONS

The Attritor is ideal for formulating, quality control, and scale-up studies. Results are repeatable from one test grind to another for maximum credibility.

With the Attritor, users can choose wet or dry grinding, introduce inert grinding speed, overcome product contamination, change media size and type, get precise energy consumption, and information, all in one machine. 


DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The 5-1 is a versatile, laboratory-size machine designed to meet virtually all lab grinding and dispersing needs - either wet or dry. Easy to scale up to production size, with reproducible results from batch-to-batch, it is also suitable for small production or pilot plant work. It is designed for media ranging from 1/8" to 3/8" and runs at speeds of 100 to 500 RPM. 


LOCATION
Royce Translational Centre, Sheffield Business Park, Europa Ave, Tinsley, Sheffield, S9 1ZA

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ENQUIRE HERE: royce@sheffield.ac.uk


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