PyroGenesis Attains US Patent for Advanced Plasma Atomization Technology: A Milestone for 3D Printing


PyroGenesis Canada Inc. has been granted a U.S. patent for its NexGen plasma atomization technology, marking a remarkable progression in the manufacture of metal powder for additive manufacturing. The patent, labeled as U.S. Patent No. US 11839918, is centered around a technique for producing high purity spherical metallic powders at accelerated production rates using either one or two wire feeds.

The technology departs from traditional plasma atomization by the use of a dual-wire feed system, where the wires are electrically charged prior to plasma atomization. This process is more efficient, resulting in higher production rates and a narrower particle size distribution, which enhances uniformity and consistency.

“The NexGen process is a significant departure from conventional plasma atomization, as the improved efficiency from NexGen not only aims at higher production rates but also narrower particle size distribution for better uniformity and consistency, and an ability to tailor particle size distribution (“PSD”) to customer needs,” mentioned Pierre Carabin, who is the CTO and Chief Strategist of PyroGenesis.

The single-plasma-torch design of the system aligns with the security and optimization strategy of the company’s commodities, promising denser, more spherical powders with reduced waste and a higher yield to customers. This process also aids in energy efficiency, enabling customers to minimize their carbon footprint and meet Scope 3 emission targets.

Traditional methods of plasma atomization, which are typically less efficient, are challenged by the innovative approach of the NexGen system. This system utilizes two electrical-charged metal wire spools, such as titanium, to produce an arc that melts the wire. The molten wire is then atomized into powder particles using a supersonic plasma stream, leading to more efficient atomization of metal and increased production output.

PyroGenesis has now fully commercialized its NexGen system and has entered the titanium metal powders market. The development of high-quality titanium metal powders by the company forms part of a wider strategy to increase the availability of critical minerals and optimize production processes. The company continues to be a leader in various key industry sectors, thanks to its advanced plasma processes and sustainable solutions.

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