PyroGenesis Canada Inc, a manufacturer of plasma waste-to-energy systems, is producing specialty powders for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, specifically for 3D printing.

PyroGenesis says that its Plasma Atomization Process (PAP) can produce highly flowable and very pure spherical metallic powders. This new process enables PyroGenesis to produce metallic powders at higher production rates while, at the same time, allowing for better control of powder size distribution. The need to produce powders of a specific particle size distribution at increasingly higher production rates is driven by the growing demand created by the AM industry.

‘While delivering the first of ten (10) Plasma Atomization Systems to a client, an opportunity arose to test certain parameters which PyroGenesis identified as having the potential of improving both the production rate and purity of the powders,’ said P Peter Pascali, president and CEO of PyroGenesis. ‘The decision was taken, with the customer, to strategically delay delivering the first system to allow for this testing. This strategic delay not only resulted in a patent application by PyroGenesis, but paved the way for PyroGenesis to consider producing powder for 3D printing on its own.’

With a total investment of US$1.7 milion, the company could be producing specialty powders within nine months and estimates that it could generate over US$10 million profit per year per system from powder sales alone. As such, PyroGenesis has decided to enter this market and is in the process of securing the funds to finance such a build.

This story is reprinted from material from PyroGenesis Canada, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.