Steel group ArcelorMittal announces its entry into the additive manufacturing market as a supplier of steel powder. The company is building an industrial-scale inert gas atomizer in Aviles, Spain, to produce steel powder for AM technologies such as Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), Binder Jetting (BJ) and Direct Energy Deposition (DED).
The atomizer, which is scheduled to start production in January 2024, will be able to produce large batches of 200 kg up to 3 tons and will have an annual capacity of 1000 tons. This will enable ArcelorMittal to offer significant volumes of steel powders with consistent quality, reliability and traceability to meet the high standards and specifications of the AdM industry.
In line with ArcelorMittal’s commitment to sustainability and decarbonization, the company aims to drive the sustainability of additive manufacturing. The atomizer will therefore produce powder from scrap steel using renewable electricity and industrial gases generated by renewable energy and will use recycled and recyclable packaging solutions.
ArcelorMittal Powders, a newly established business unit, will market the atomizer’s output. The steel powders will be offered in sizes suitable for all existing powder-based metal AdM technologies in industries such as aerospace, defense, automotive, medical and energy. They can also be used in the latest technological developments such as brake disc coatings, which are being developed to help automotive manufacturers and suppliers comply with the EU7 regulation on particulate emissions.
Commenting, Gregory Ludkovsky, Chief Executive Officer of Global Research and Development, ArcelorMittal, said: “We are proud to launch ArcelorMittal Powders, a new business unit that reflects our vision to be at the forefront of innovation and sustainability in the steel industry. By producing and supplying steel powders for additive manufacturing, we are expanding our portfolio of advanced materials and solutions for the future of manufacturing. We believe that steel has great potential to become the material of choice for additive manufacturing, thanks to its versatility, performance and sustainability. The additive manufacturing industry has grown phenomenally over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow in double digits over the next 10 years. While the production of steel powders is a new venture for ArcelorMittal, we are confident that our metallurgical expertise and solutions-based approach will provide our customers with the support they need to improve the quality and reliability of their additive manufacturing projects.”
Colin Hautz, CEO of ArcelorMittal Powders, added: “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.”