Arcast's new Melt Spinner casts a thin continuous ribbon of fast-quenched amorphous metal
Left: Uddeholm's Facebook post about their new installation
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 Sebastián Spain. See the following video of one of the first tests https://youtu.be/b5NkcI21BCI.
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.
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
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.
Another small scale arc furnace and cold crucible atomizer has shipped to Deakin University in Australia. This will help in their development of light metal powders and alloys.
This has so far been, and will continue to, be a busy year! We are producing 3 large scale gas atomizers, melt spinners, multiple types of arc furnaces and some custom processing furnaces.
We are pleased to have suppled furnaces to leading research establishments this month, including Imperial College London, Oxford University, England, and a repeat sale to Université catholique de Louvain Belguim.
IMDEA of Spain have added to their capability with an Arcast arc melting furnace with our full range of options including: tilt casting, centrifugal casting, suction casting, zone melting and gas atomization under inert atmosphere or high vacuum.
Hamburg University have chosen our latest variation of induction cold crucible laboratory furnace. This has a combination of options including a levitation cold crucible, boat furnace and a more conventional ceramic furnace, all in one user-friendly system.
Please keep an eye out for the launch of our new dedicated materials processing business, Arcast Materials. This will include custom ingot (casting) and powder production. The focus will be on reactive and refractory metal alloys. Our developments will allow us to produce bulk quantities of titanium alloy powder at very competitive prices.
This is the most fully featured Arc 200 we've built, with all the bells and whistles: high vacuum turbo pump system, continuous casting, suction casting, centrifugal casting, free fall atomizing (for powder production), and of course button melting. This is a compact versatile all-round research tool for titanium and other reactive metal alloy processing.
We have had a busy year and look forward to 2015! This past year has had us designing, developing, building and installing a wide range of equipment from: systems for major consumer electronics companies, oxide melting furnaces, powder production, continuous casting and other products. These projects have sent us from the USA to Asia, Europe and Russia. Thank you to our customers for these great opportunities.
We've added a new 10,000 sq.ft. location to support our material processing and larger development projects.
Arcast announces a new range of furnaces, dedicated to the processing of technical alloys. Our unique processes maintain the highest quality, facilitate rapid turnaround, and guarantee low cost. The materials that can be processed include, but are not limited to, titanium, nickel super alloys, tantalum, tungsten alloys and NiTi shape memory alloys. There is now no need to use the more complex and expensive VAR (vacuum arc remelt) process. There is no need to press or fabricate starting electrodes. The processes available are arc/plasma melting or induction cold crucible. before. More Information
We welcome everyone to visit our booth (number 445) at the PM2014 World Congress in Orlando, Florida, May 18 - 21, 2014. As a member of MPIF (Metal Powder Industries Federation) and PMEA (Powder Metallurgy Equipment Association) we look forward to attending the conference and hope to see you there.
This is a summary of the conference: The PM2014 World Congress is being held in conjunction with the Tungsten, Refractory & Hardmaterials Conference and the inaugural Additive Manufacturing with Powder Metallurgy (AMPM) Conference. All of the technical sessions, most special events, and the exhibition will be shared and open to all World Congress delegates, providing a unique value proposition and networking opportunity unmatched ever before.
One of our latest installations in a new purpose built laboratory.
Royal School of Mines, Imperial College of London, has chosen Arcast to supply an alloying and casting cold crucible arc melter. Along with many other partners, Imperial College works closely with Rolls-Royce in developing refractory metal alloys and super alloys for the next generation of turbines. It is exciting to play a part in this developing world of material science.
Thanks to all of you who visited our stand at the Euro PM2013 Congress & Exhibition in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a pleasure presenting and discussing our powder metallurgy product line including gas atomizers and other furnaces.
Another Arc 50 mini arc melting furnace has been sent to University Catholique of Louvain. This will be used to support and further their research into alloy development and testing. This furnace is fitted with a suction-casting module for rapid quenching and producing a micro crystalline structure.
Major consumer electronics companies are now using Arcast equipment to develop the new advanced alloys required in the latest range of high performing devices. Arcast is proud to be a part of such a broad range of industries.
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (EJUST) will be receiving the Arcast vacuum arc melter with the electromagnetic stirring option (see link) for their alloy development. We are very pleased to work with them.
Arcast is proceeding to Phase 2 of our National Science Foundation research project for processing of refractory and reactive metal alloys. This will give Arcast and its customers the ability to process pilot-to-production scale amounts of refractory metal as powder or castings.
The Indian Institute of Science Education (IISER-Mohali) has chosen Arcast to supply them with a vacuum arc furnace. It is a pleasure to be part of this developing technical institute.
You are looking at Arcast's new, revamped website!
Arcast has supplied the Los Alamos National Laboratory with another induction cold crucible - the second one we've built for them.
Another system to go down under! Deakin University of Geelong VIC Australia has chosen us to supply them with one of our Lab Scale arc melters (Arc 50). It is a pleasure to be working with them and supporting their research efforts.
Arcast has just broken ground for the foundations of its new lab and assembly space. This will give us another 2100 sq.ft. to work in; much needed space separate from the manufacturing side of the business, dedicated to research and development. Photos to come soon...
We have added a highly effective electromagnetic stirrer to our range of options for our arc melters. This allows complete alloying in one heat cycle without the need to flip and re-melt multiple times. It works with any alloy system and comes in many different specifications to modulate the amount and type of stirring as required.
Please see the video!
We are proud to say that we are supplying TIMET in Witton, Birmingham, UK and TIMET Henderson, Nevada, USA some of our custom furnaces. TIMET is the industry leader in aerospace grade titanium products.
See another of our induction cold crucibles at work:
We are pleased to have completed the first phases of the NSF and NASA research projects. These programs have allowed us to significantly advance the industry's ability to process complex titanium and other refractory alloy systems in both batch casting and fully continuous production with controlled melt streams. Both of these projects focused on the melting and alloying of complex refractory metals from elemental (or virtually any other feed stock) source. Contact us to find out more about these advances in material processing.
Arcast has supplied a custom induction cold crucible to Curtin University’s Hydrogen Storage Research Group in Perth Australia. This unique crucible will aid them in their materials research.
Arcast Inc. just signed a contract with NASA to develop an advanced plasma/induction levitation cold crucible furnace for melting, alloying and casting of advanced titanium based shape memory alloys.
“Advanced processing methods are one of the most critical elements for both accelerating the development of innovative material and performing production scale fabrication of world class components. This is a perfect example of a marriage between advancing the research objective of NASA and promoting viable, high tech industries within the US. In my opinion, this is exactly the kind of research that SBIRs should be funding. The proposal is specific, unique, and focused. The company appears to be truly focused on producing high quality products, not just research.” www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/StructuresMaterials/AdvMet/index.html
We have just visited Los Alamos National Laboratories to review the results from the uranium melting point research apparatus using one of our specialized induction cold crucibles. We were also there to demonstrate the levitation cold crucible melting furnace intended to be used for crystal growing. www.lanl.gov/orgs/mst/mst8/index.shtml
|Four PHD students at North Texas University pose with the Arc 200, and, left the Arcast team and the professor||The Arcast team training PHD students at North Texas University|
We have completed the installation and training at the University of North Texas of another Arc 200 vacuum arc melter. This cold crucible arc melting furnace will be used by the university's students and researchers for preparing advanced titanium alloys among many other materials. While training a PHD student prepared a new alloy for landing gear for Boeing. www.mtse.unt.edu
Arcast Inc. is supplying a custom levitation cold crucible and a skull melter to Los Alamos National Laboratory. This will support their research in high temperature metals and oxides.
Arcast Inc. has been awarded SBIR Phase I funding for Reactive and Refractory Metal Processing. The outcome of this project is to build a casting and atomizing plant for reactive and refractory metals, using a new continuous process centered around a hybrid plasma arc induction furnace. The plant will facilitate highly flexible production of complex novel alloys from elemental feed stock in one cost-effective, non-stop operation. It will be completely ceramic free and non-contaminating, retaining the key theoretical performance of the reactive metals and compounds produced.
Arcast Inc. is supplying a high vacuum Arc 200 arc melting furnace with a centrifugal and tilt casting option to the University of North Texas for their research in titanium and other alloys.
Arcast Inc. is proud to place an Arc 200 arc melter at University of Southern Maine. This will be used for their research and development in materials science. Some of this research includes shape memory alloys. It is intended that this system will be in place in their labs in the summer of 2011.
Arcast Inc. is releasing a new line of product, Cold Crucible Induction Melters. This is a technology that uses a high frequency induction coil to levitate, melt and alloy metal above 3000 Deg. C in a clean water cooled copper crucible. This is also known as levitation melting and can be abbreviated as CCIM or CCLM. Our capacity is from 10g up to many kilograms. Our off the shelf product is aimed at the research lab scale. It can melt as little as a few grams.
You tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB5At2XRpvI
Levitation cold crucible melting
Arcast has just released three new products for the high-tech materials market. These are: the Arc 50, the Arc 200 and the Ind 500 furnaces. You can learn more about these from our Products page.
You are looking at Arcast's new website!