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GKN Additive to make and stock AM powders

Posted on 09 Dec 2019 and read 807 times
GKN Additive to make and stock AM powdersHaving identified a high demand for ‘in-stock’ material for additive manufacturing (AM) in Europe, GKN Additive is now preparing to locally produce and ‘warehouse’ powders through its GKN Additive Materials business.

The company (www.gknpm.com) says potential customers cannot readily forecast prototyping projects with sufficient accuracy to allow for a four- to six-week lead time, typically working off one-week powder requests, which is why it now stocking standard AM-powders like 316L, 17-4PH and 20MnCr5 at its facility in Hückeswagen, Germany.

In addition to gas- and water-atomised powders, custom materials developed specifically for customers will be stored in order to allow powders to be delivered on an ‘as needed’ basis.

GKN Additive (a pioneer in the metal AM market) and GKN Hoeganaes (a leading producer of high-volume powders for powder metallurgy and specialised AM powders) merged their expertise to form GKN Additive Materials earlier this year.

GKN Hoeganaes produces over 300,000 tonnes of engineered metal powders per year from facilities in Gallatin (Tennessee, USA), Bazhou (China) and Buzau (Romania) for the PM industry.

The first trials of producing water-atomised AM powders in the high-volume Buzau facility to support industry growth have now been completed.

Alloys produced during these trials include ANCOR AM 4600 and ANCOR AM DP600, both low-alloy steels used in automotive and structural applications.

These materials are currently under evaluation by research groups in Europe and several customers in North America.

Material is currently available for development activities for LPBF (laser powder-bed fusion) and DED (directed energy deposition) applications.

GKN Additive Materials says its goal is “to supply various grades of AM materials to customers in Europe in a timely manner, while focusing on water-atomised low-alloy steel powders to help our customers grow the market for AM-produced parts”.