An indicator of major things to come!
We are looking forward to this furnace coming together! Credit to AJAX Tocco for the excellent coil work. It's going to be a big one! More photos to come.
Video of a bar feed induction melt atomizer in action
This is an induction melt bar feed free fall atomizer for titanium and other metal powder production. The contact free melting method ensures the cleanest melt and highest quality powder for all PM and AM applications. At the hands of the RTC in Sheffield.
Powder Metallurgy Review posts news of Alloyed purchasing Arcast’s Arc 200 melter
According to Alloyed:
See the article hereThe induction melters [of others] use a ceramic crucible which reacts with some alloys and are limited to 2000°C, whereas the Arc 200 has a copper crucible that accommodates higher melting point alloys and means we can now produce alloys with high levels of Ti, Zr, Nb, Ta, Mo, W, etc. This significantly widens the markets and customers we can reach, particularly in the medical, space, and nuclear sectors.
Arcast puts big capabilities into a small space
Without an inch to spare this is one of the most compact atomizers we have installed of its type. This is a tube feed dual arc plasma cold crucible inert gas atomizer. Designed for powder production of highly reactive materials that require strict oxygen controls.
Versatility for flexibility
A VersaMelt installation waiting services connections. This is the most versatile atomizer for powder research on the market. With four melting configurations, cold crucible, hot wall ceramic, induction drip melt, and plasma tube feed, there is almost no limitation to the materials that can be processed. This is the perfect addition to any materials research lab.
It has been a busy January!
Three systems tested, three shipped, five systems in assembly, four remote commissionings, one on site installation and much much more!
We are looking forward to working with CMQ (Centre de métallurgie du Québec). We have supplied a custom gas atomizer that combines the bar feed induction drip melt (commonly known as "EIGA") for the production of titanium and refractory metals, and a ceramic lined induction crucible and close-coupled atomization. The close-coupled system allows aluminum powder to be produced safely in a design resistance to deflagrations (explosions). The special pressure containment, oxygen control, ventilation and remote operation allows for improved safety for processing aluminum powder. This multi-function system is the first of its type, with this rating, and combines two different atomizing designs into one system. From CMQ: "In order to obtain the production capacities of almost all types of metal powder possible, we have acquired a gas atomizer from Arcast (USA), the only company providing the CMQ the possibility of producing aluminum powders. This equipment will also allow the production of titanium, iron, tool steel, nickel and stainless-steel powders to name a few."
Arcast is to feature on the cover of the winter edition of Powder Metallurgy Review, with a spectacular image of one of our machines in operation and an extensive article on the company.
Celebrating 10 years producing the Arc 200!
After 10 years it is worth giving our Arc 200 product some recognition! Since it became our first product, over 40 models have sold across the globe, from the USA, all over Europe, Egypt, Australia, Russia and to many more countries. It is now the standard machine for metal alloy development for leading universities and research centers. With cold crucible melting, electromagnetic stirring, atomizing and many casting options all in one machine it is hard to compare with any other. This furnace has been used to develop alloys for mobile phones, space exploration, energy, defence, medical science and many other applications. Many customers have purchased other systems from us based on the results of this product. We were told many times that there is no market for a machine like this, you can't perform all those functions in one system, you won't compete with the established market. We are happy to say we didn't listen, and we are shipping one of these a week around the world. Thank you to all the customers who chose the Arc 200 and for all the amazing work you have done with it. Ten years later, we offer a full range of atomizers, casting systems and vacuum furnaces of all types.
On the left, the first Arc 200, and on the right, the latest
Features and options include high vacuum, button melting, flipping, electromagnetic stirring, material feeding, continuous-casting, tilt casting, suction casting, centrifugal casting, and atomizing for powder.
A new tool for analysis and quality control
With our improved new Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), with a magnification range of 20x - 65,000x and a particle analysis tool, we now have a powerful tool to analyze and control the quality of the powder we supply to you. So we are not just trusting an algorithm or numbers on a printout - you can know with some certainty that the data represents the actual product produced. If you need data or SEM services please contact us.
Announcing the most powerful and versatile plasma/arc melting lab scale product on the market.
If you want more from your arc melter or you need complex alloys, casting, and/or powder, the Arc 500 is worth a look. This is the most powerful and comprehensive plasma/arc melting lab scale product on the market. The big sister to the very popular Arc 200 product, with 100 kW of melting power, at up to 2400 amps, it can perform all the same tasks and has the same modes of operation, just bigger and faster!
Here you can see cold crucible arc melting with electromagnetic stirring. This shows melting with and without the stirring current. You can clearly see the stirring in action, you can see the melt open up and expose the bottom of the crucible. The stirring is very vigorous; the arc is moved around mixing all the material and there is no need to flip and remelt as in conventional arc melting. You can also see the use of pulse stirring. This is a great option for advanced metal alloying. The charge is about 300g of titanium alloy in the video but electromagnetic stirring works well for most any metal alloy.
A great result
...a continuously cast Tantalum alloy bar - straight, clean and with only shallow cold shuts. Casting refractory metals is a challenge we step up to regularly. We have a small in-house setup to cast 4" (100 mm) or smaller diameter bars up to 8 feet in length depending on the arrangement. We use this for various custom alloys and for consolidating powder for recycling if needed. The bar can be forged, rolled or atomized. We have processed many titanium alloys and a number of shape memory alloys with this system.
After waiting many days for the final container to arrive we have completed the install at CEIT in Spain (see January News)
Another melt spinner
...(combined with a vacuum induction melter) to go to Sheffield University in the UK. This is the third system they have purchased from us.
West Coast (US) installation arc melting furnace
...with an inert gas atomizer option. It is used for producing new metal alloys and powder for 3D printing
Happy New Year! 2020 is looking very busy!
VersaMelt goes to Tennessee Tech
We have the pleasure of working and supplying a VersaMelt multi-mode inert gas atomizer to the Center for Manufacturing Research of Tennessee Tech. This will give this research group the ability to cleanly melt and atomize titanium, copper, iron, cobalt, hafnium, tantalum, tungsten and many other metal alloys. The increase in metal powder research for PM (powder metallurgy) and AM (additive manufacturing or 3D printing) applications is significant in the USA at the moment. We currently have 7 inert gas atomizers being supplied within the USA. It is good to see the USA investing in this growing market. This is a big change from just a few years ago when most of the growth in this area was in Europe. The VersaMelt was first developed for Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. It has been a popular model for research and industry ever since.
Another goes to CEIT
We are happy to be shipping the CEIT large scale gas atomizer to their new powder development center in San Sebastián Spain. See the following video of one of the first tests and, to the right, another view inside the atomizer:
Arc 200 for South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology have purchased an Arc 200 arc melting furnace with the gas atomizing option. The following photos are of the machine and the K-Monel powder they have produced with this system (Select the powder images for a larger scale view). This capability allows them to work with industrial partners and government agencies for research of new materials and applications.
VersaMelt gas atomizer for North Carolina State University
CAMAL (Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics) with NCSU (North Carolina State University) have chosen Arcast for the supply of an advanced gas atomizer for powder production to support and add to their leading-edge 3D printing hub.
The VersaMelt atomizer will allow Tim Horn's team to produce the source material for their 3D-printing projects: atomized metal powders. In the 3D-printing process, those powders are carried across a plate, where a high-powered laser selectively melts particles together to form a solid layer. Now CAMAL/NCSU can produce their own powder immediately rather than waiting for suppliers to take months to deliver powder.
The VersaMelt gas atomizer will give them the ability to create almost any alloy through its wide range of melting and processing options. One day they may be atomizing copper for one project and the next a new advanced titanium alloy. Arcast is very happy to be able to add our technology to this center of excellence in 3D printing and AM research.
|Tim Horn works with Ph.D. student Christopher Ledford to monitor a 3D-printed object for defects in real time, a cutting-edge capability that sets NC State apart. (Courtesy NCSU News)||Sparks fly as an electron beam printer stacks layers of high-strength niobium alloy for a rocket nozzle. The material melts at around 2,400 degrees Celsius and can be challenging to 3D-print, but the process has been achieved in the CAMAL. (Courtesy NCSU News)|
See the following cold crucible and melt chamber of the Arc 500 product. We love shiny copper and stainless!
With up to 2400 amps of melting current we can process kilograms of material in very little time.
This all adds to our supply of arc melters and induction furnaces for melting and casting of advanced alloys around the world!
We are still very busy, and after exhibiting at Formnext again, we expect to be even more busy! Over the past few months we have shipped a number of small Arc 200-based gas atomizers for research metal powder production. Video here
We have commissioned a dual plasma melting tube feed inert gas atomizer for reactive metal powder production
We have shipped another arc melter for button production.
We have just finished production of another 200+ kg inert close-coupled gas atomizer, and we are about to ship an Arc 500 cold crucible melter with gas atomizer option.
We are in mid production of a dual-mode gas atomizer, with a mode for ceramic lined crucible melting of aluminum alloys and a mode for titanium melting (non-contact). This atomizer has all the safety features that have been reviewed by members of NFPA to reduce the risks of explosions. We are just starting another dual plasma tube feed atomizer for highly reactive metal powder. Along with the current production of arc melters, melt spinners, and atomizers we have just received two more orders for our VersaMelt multi-mode inert gas atomizer for the processing of powders from tin to tungsten. With these and more orders for Arc 500 arc melters and more orders for our original product (the Arc 200) we are entering 2020 with a very full order book and opportunities to work with many more great new customers and again with our many return customers.
All quiet on the news front all summer? Only due to a tremendous rate of production!
It is all getting very busy and everyone wants to make powder! This is great news for us and as a result the materials processing side of the business (www.arcastmaterials.com) is constantly growing and producing great results from very challenging materials.
On the equipment side we have recently shipped a twin arc/plasma tube feed system for reactive metal powder production. This will give advanced abilities for AM research.
The atomizer for CEIT is near ready to ship and we look forward to seeing this one in production in Spain. This will give them production quantities of powder for AM and PM applications based on the research they have been doing for over 34 years.
We have just started the production of an aluminum and reactive metal atomizer for our Canadian neighbours. This will add to the increasing capability growing so rapidly in Quebec. This will soon be the go to place for metal powder, AM and light metals research and production.
On top of this we are producing three arc/plasma casting and atomizing systems, all for US based customers. These are lab scale units for advancing additive manufacturing and metal powder research. These produce high quality gas atomized powder and can also create buttons and castings for alloys development.
But it is not all about powder and additive manufacturing, we are also producing our third system for Sheffield University - a combined induction cold crucible and ceramic lined casting system and melt spinner. This universal research tool takes advantage of the induction melting capability and vacuum system of one machine for three modes of operation. Why not!? And we are producing a production button melter for material testing and analysis.
Arcast Inc. and the Arcast Materials Division has just been certified for ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D for the Manufacture and sales of metal powder and castings for commercial, aerospace and defense industries applications.
Arcast has built the new materials division around this quality management system to ensure we meet the industry's most demanding requirements. Our metal powder and casting products can now be sold directly to a wide range of markets including aerospace in confidence that we meet the same quality standards that our customers require.
With the growing capacity to produce, as atomized, titanium alloys (and many other challenging metal alloys) with D50 of 30-40 µm from a wide range of low cost feedstock, we can offer the complete solution for the growing and demanding AM, MIM and other PM markets. Our ultra clean and high performing processing method offers the highest possible quality powder and is now backed up by a quality standard that matches it.
Arcast materials division is here
Arcast has just installed another arc melter with an atomizer attachment for powder and additive manufacturing research.
The Journal of Materials Research and Technology, a publication of the Brazilian Metallurgical, Materials and Mining Association, has recognized the role of our Arc 200 in producing small quantities of high-purity alloys quickly and easily for testing, in its article "Rapid fabrication and characterization of AISI 304 stainless steels modified with Cu additions by additive alloy melting (ADAM)" Two quotes from the article: "Rapid alloy prototyping is quickly emerging as a manufacturing approach to design novel structural alloys, since allows producing low volume of high quality castings quickly at low cost. Thus, a large number of alloys can be produced and tested for finding the optimal composition in an alloy system. In this work, a new high throughput method for rapid alloy manufacturing has been developed and employed to cast AISI 304 stainless steel samples modified with an addition of Cu in the range of 1-4wt.%."
"The 5 alloys were processed by additive alloy melting (ADAM) under argon atmosphere in an arc furnace ARC 200 from ARCAST Inc. using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. The intensity of the electric arc is controlled by a pedal, and the maximum value can be limited in the power supply, between 0 and 600A."
Andrew Cea, of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, reports how he used Arcast's Arc 200 machine for the preparation of uranium-manganese alloys for microstructure and calorimetric analysis. His article in the Journal of Nuclear Materials credits this machine, and in a separate email to us, he says the scanning electron microscope images in the journal prove "how good and homogenous your samples can be". You can see the article here.
We hope to see you at the Euro PM conference in Bilbao in October and at Formnext in Frankfurt in November. We will be visiting Euro PM and exhibiting at Formnext. The market for powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing seems to be growing at an extraordinary rate.
Arcast's supply of a 250kg capacity inert gas atomizer for research purposes to Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Técnicas de Gipuzkoa (CEIT), San Sebastián, Spain, has made the Metal AM magazine news. Ceit is a non-profit research facility, one of whose projects is the development and improvement of powder alloys and manufacturing technologies for AM and MIM. We hope to work with CEIT's researchers to produce larger quantities of advanced alloy powders in the future. For more detail, please see the article in Metal AM Magazine.
We are looking forward to supplying a melt spinner to one of our industrial customers. It is always nice to have return customers that have been happy with other products we have supplied. With many customers, we have supplied two or three pieces of equipment. Being part of a company's (or lab's) growth and expansion into more challenging areas of materials processing, from button melters to production gas atomizer plants is rewarding.
Our best-selling, ever-growing-in-popularity product, the Arc 200, is being built and shipped out to a number of research labs. Just recently we supplied Wisconsin University, Rutgers University, and three other industrial customers.
Arcast is delighted to have the vacuum arc furnace we supplied to Imperial College in London acknowledged as equipment used to produce and cast a high-strength silicide phase in a stainless steel alloy designed for wear-resistant applications.
Hardfacing alloys provide strong, wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant coatings for extreme environments such as those within nuclear reactors. Here, we report an ultra-high-strength Fe–Cr–Ni silicide phase, named π-ferrosilicide, within a hardfacing Fe-based alloy. Electron diffraction tomography has allowed the determination of the atomic structure of this phase. Nanohardness testing indicates that the π-ferrosilicide phase is up to 2.5 times harder than the surrounding austenite and ferrite phases. The compressive strength of the π-ferrosilicide phase is exceptionally high and does not yield despite loading in excess of 1.6 GPa. Such a high-strength silicide phase could not only provide a new type of strong, wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant Fe-based coating, replacing more costly and hazardous Co-based alloys for nuclear applications, but also lead to the development of a new class of high-performance silicide-strengthened stainless steels, no longer reliant on carbon for strengthening.
Many thanks to Professor D. Dye and Dr. M Rahman from Imperial College London for allowing us access to their casting facilities to produce the carbon-deficient silicide ingot.
Link to the article in Nature here.
U.S. Small Business Administration honors Arcast
Arcast has just received the prestigious 2018 Small Business Exporter of the Year Award for Maine.
“Innovation and technology are key to competing in the global marketplace, and that’s just what Arcast has embraced,” said Amy Bassett, SBA District Director for Maine. “The specialized services provided by the company allow it to reach customers all over the world,” added Bassett. You can download the press release here.
We are grateful our hard work and innovation has been recognized by the SBA!
Arcast is excited to introduce the VersaMelt Inert Gas Atomizer.
This system will permit processing of many metal alloy systems all from a single atomizer platform. The multi-configurable melt chamber will allow:
This versatility can accommodate a wide range of complex alloys, from tin to tungsten. Clean, ceramic-free titanium (or similar metal) powders can be produced using scrap or recycled powder as feed stock. The VersaMelt has a nominal batch capacity of up to 3 kg (steel equivalent) per-cycle and multiple cycles can be performed every day.
The unit has been priced for the budgets of small companies and research establishments and was designed as a useful tool for any organisation contemplating entering the AM/3D printing arena. Arcast was particularly keen to address the issue of recycling powder wastes generated by AM processing. The system was designed to occupy minimal space (less than 4m cubed) and only requires modest services of water, gas and electricity.
In developing the VersaMelt system, Arcast has listened carefully to the comments of existing customers seeking to develop alloys and powders for the AM industry. We are confident that no other atomizing system currently on the market approaches the versatility of VersaMelt. VersaMelt is available now as a standard Arcast product. Please contact us to learn more.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory chooses Arcast
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS) on behalf of the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), and of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has awarded Arcast Inc. a contract to supply a gas atomization system for producing fine, spherical, reactive metal powders. This is a specialized system for handling a wide range of challenging metals and alloys that are of interest to the national laboratory and other government agencies. We are very proud to have been chosen for this work and of making a contribution to our country’s capabilities in these challenging areas of science. We believe it was Arcast’s unique approach to handling reactive metals and our good value proposal that persuaded LLNS to choose us to supply this equipment.
UCL to recieve the first of the new Arcast multi-process gas atomizers
The first VersaMelt multi-process gas atomizer is now being shipped to The Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. This will be used directly for producing feedstock for their new powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing center. UCL is a European leader in material science and is expanding its capabilities in powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing. The VersaMelt will give this research group a range of capabilities that most others do not have. Arcast has worked with the team at UCL to create this new product specifically to meet the broad scope of their research.
Arcast receives grant from State Of Maine
Arcast is pleased to have been awarded funding by Maine Technology Institute and the Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.0 program to help build and promote the material processing division. This will increase our capability for powder production. Mainbiz magazine press release here.
The new year is starting off well with orders for 4 more arc melting systems. Two are going to universities in the USA and two more in Europe, one in the UK and another in Germany.
Arcast's installation of our inert gas atomizer at Sheffield makes Metal AM news. See the full article here
Here's our next system, nearly ready to ship to Sheffield, England. This atomizer will complement the arc melting and casting system we have already shipped to Sheffield. Time to strip it down and powder-coat it in readiness for the journey across the pond.
See the video below for a view of one of our gas atomizers in action, our tube-feed arc/plasma melter making spherical titanium powder. The blue color results from the argon plasma. You can see a gallery of our products and processes in action here.
We are happy to be shipping the CEIT large scale gas atomizer to their new powder development center in San Sebasti�n Spain. See the following video of one of the first tests
Arcast Inc. is proud to announce we have successfully gas-atomized titanium with a D90 of less than 60 μ (D50 of 25 μ to 35 μ) with no ceramic contact or any other risk of oxide inclusion (no contamination).
The gas-to-metal ratio is a fraction of the ratios conventionally achieved using the standard free-fall gas atomizing method. Using this method, we can start from a wide range of melt feedstocks, including but not limited to, bar, scrap or sponge. We look to combine this method with one of our continuous alloying furnaces, previously developed. The next phase of development will be to process a wide range of titanium alloys and other reactive or refractory alloys.
We believe that this is the process the industry has been waiting for: to produce low cost, clean, fine spherical titanium alloy powder very efficiently with zero risk of contamination from a wide range of economical feedstocks.
Arcast proves itself again to be a valuable player in the growing AM (additive manufacturing) and thermal spray markets by supplying to major powder producers and research centers in the USA, Europe, Australia and Africa, with prospects in Asia. We currently have a number of cold crucible furnaces and vacuum inert gas atomizers (VIGA) for metal powder production on order across America and Europe. We feel very fortunate that our hard work and dedication are being recognized across the world. Thank you to our customers new and old! It is a good feeling to have repeat orders and supply some customers with different equipment two or even three times. We always have something new to offer, so do not hesitate to contact us.
We are now advertising in Metal AM magazine, which you can download from here. We are on page 50.
See our new ad in Powder Metallurgy Review, on page 13.
An Australian university has added three of our furnaces to its metalurgy department.
|Top left: Ind 500; bottom left: Arc 50; Top: Arc 200 with all the options|
Arcast's new venture makes the Powder Metallurgy Review News!
Arcast announces yet another new furnace, the IND CC 20 tilt and pour system. The melt and pour are done in a vacuum chamber. Please see the IND CC20 page for general specs.
Uddeholm (Swedish manufacturer of hi-tech tool steels) installs a new Induction Atomizer in the Powder Technology unit of their Hagfors plant.
Left: Uddeholm's Facebook post about their new installation
We have just finished the first part of commissioning a 100kg-batch close-coupled gas atomizer for a major USA customer.
We are about to ship a close coupled gas atomizer for a European customer.
We are pleased to release our melt spinner range of products. The first is to be placed at John Hopkins University. More details here
Arcast's new Melt Spinner casts a thin continuous ribbon of fast-quenched amorphous metal
The new argon and nitrogen gas heater development has proven to be a great success. We have taken the concept used in Thermal Spray systems and applied it to pre-heating the atomizing gas to improve efficiencies. The design requires a minimal amount of stored hot gas so the reaction time is minimal and the heating efficiency is very high.