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With over 125 years of experience in developing and manufacturing specialty metals and a world-class, industry-leading team of 200+ metallurgists and AM experts, we understand the AM process. 

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Find out more about Carpenter Additive's selection of powders and solutions for metal AM

Gas Atomization

The most common method of metal powder production. An elemental feedstock is melted under an air or inert gas blanket, or under vacuum. The chamber is then backfilled with gas to force molten alloy through a nozzle where high-velocity air, N, He or Ar gas impinges onto the flowing melt and breaks it up. The powder is mostly spherical, with some asymmetric particles and satellites present. A satellite is when a smaller particle sticks to a larger one during solidification. Heat sizes range from 5kg to 3000kg. Size ranges from 0 to 500 micron. Yield within 20-150 micron range varies from 10 to 50% of the total. Mostly used for Ni, Co, and Fe alloys, also available for Ti and Al alloys.

gas-atomised

Water Atomization

Similar to gas atomization but water is employed as the atomizing medium. Used mostly for unreactive materials such as steels, it produces irregularly shaped powder particles.

Plasma Atomization

The most common method of metal powder production. The elemental feedstock is melted under an air or inert gas blanket, or under vacuum. The chamber is then backfilled with gas to force molten alloy through a nozzle where high-velocity air, N, He or Ar gas impinges onto the flowing melt and breaks it up. The powder is mostly spherical, with some asymmetric particles and satellites present. A satellite is when a smaller particle sticks to a larger one during solidification. Heat sizes range from 5kg to 3000kg. Size ranges from 0 to 500 micron. Yield within 20-150 micron range varies from 10 to 50% of the total. Mostly used for Ni, Co, and Fe alloys, also available for Ti and Al alloys.

gas-atomised

EIGA (Electrode Induction Melting Gas Atomization)

Works with all metal alloys but is most economic with reactive alloys like Ti. Feedstock, in the form of a bar, is rotated and melted by an induction coil. A film of molten metal flows downwards into a gas stream for atomization. Therefore, the material does not come in contact with either crucible or electrode during the process. Powder size is 0 to 500 micron and morphology is similar to gas atomized. The process is cheap, clean, good for small batches and produces small diameter powder.

eiga

PREP (Plasma Rotating Electrode Process)

Similar to the EIGA process but the rotating feedstock bar is melted when it comes into contact with the plasma. Metal powders are extremely spherical but yields are limited below 100 microns, so the price can be very high.

Centrifugal Atomization

A simple process that is not in wide-spread use. A good compromise between Gas Atomized and Plasma Atomization. It generates powder that is more spherical and has lower entrapped gas porosity than Gas Atomization but not to the quality of Plasma Atomization or PREP. However, is cheaper than both PREP and Plasma Atomization. Best suited to larger batch sizes of less reactive low melting temperature alloys, but can also make Nickel superalloys.

Plasma Spheroidization

Carpenter Additive uses high energy plasma to produce highly spherical and dense AM metal powders. Carpenter Additive’s system uses plasma to transform agglomerated powders produced by spray drying or sintering techniques, or angular powders produced by conventional crushing methods, into spherical powder. The powder is gravity fed from the top and it is sprayed through the plasma by using various nozzle types depending on specific powder characteristics. Individual powder particles are completely melted and solidify in a spherical shape. Plasma treated powder is fully dense and highly spherical. Surface contamination is also significantly reduced through the vaporization of impurities.

At Carpenter Additive we have a high level of expertise in Additive Manufacturing (AM) and a long experience of working with leading companies within the aerospace, biomedical, and automotive industries. We utilize this knowledge and the capabilities of plasma technology to produce highly spherical and low contamination metal AM powders:

  • High melting temperature refractory metals such as Ta, W, Nb, and Mo
  • Customer-specific metallic and ceramic compositions
  • Improve flowability and reduce contamination levels of standard products produced by gas or water atomization
  • Reconditioning of metal powders that have been used several times within an AM machine. Powder purity, morphology, and surface contamination change during use, especially Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Hydrogen

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