Praxair, Inc. has announced that its Praxair Surface Technologies business will begin marketing fine, spherical titanium powder for use in 3D printing by additive manufacturers serving the aerospace, automotive, industrial and medical markets.
“Until now, there’s been limited availability of fine, titanium powder in the marketplace to create parts,” said Dean Hackett, VP of Advanced Materials and Equipment for Praxair Surface Technologies. “That won’t be the case for long as we move into full-scale production of aerospace-grade, fine, spherical, titanium powder starting in the third quarter of 2015. In addition to supplying the powder, Praxair also offers the associated industrial gases to the additive manufacturing industry. ”
Praxair’s ability to produce large-scale volumes of titanium powders designed for additive manufacturing is rooted in its more than 50 years of experience producing gas atomized powders for the thermal spray coating industry. In recent years, research and development efforts have focused on the production of metal powders, including cobalt, iron and nickel, for 3D printing purposes. Further development of a proprietary atomization process designed specifically for titanium allows the company to make some of the largest batches of fine, titanium powder in the world.
“What makes our production of titanium powders different from those currently on the market is that we use close-coupled, high-pressure gas atomisation to produce fine, spherical titanium powder in large quantities,” said Andy Shives, Additive Manufacturing Marketing Manager for Praxair Surface Technologies. “Adding titanium powder to our portfolio enables us to better support the manufacturing needs of aerospace and other industries.”
Praxair is currently working with major aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEM) by providing limited quantities of its fine titanium powder to further OEM research and development efforts ahead of Praxair’s full commissioning of its gas-atomised titanium powder line.