Dr Martin Kearns has been with Sandvik Osprey since 2006 as Powder Group Director and more recently Acting Managing Director. Sandvik Osprey is a World-leading producer of metal and alloy powders for the MIM and additive manufacturing industries. The company has been producing fine gas-atomized powders for over forty years, originally as Osprey Metals Ltd at its plant in Neath, S. Wales. Dr Kearns was a principal speaker at the MIM2020 conference in California at the beginning of March and MPR Consulting Editor Joseph Capus spoke with him shortly afterwards.

MPR: Let’s begin with your background and education.

I was born in South Shields, County Durham, in the north of England. I studied metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1981 and completed my doctorate there in 1984 with a thesis on stress corrosion cracking of turbine steels. I joined ICI Fibres UK that same year as a senior research scientist working on melt spinning of polymers.

MPR: How did you get into metal powders/PM?

When I joined BP Advanced Materials in 1988 I was working on a project on graded structures, trying to join steel with tungsten carbide to make an improved rock-cutting bit for oil drilling. That was an interesting technology, using PM in joining a low-alloy steel to tungsten carbide with an intermediate tool steel layer. We got to work with Peter Brewin at Powdrex and people in the carbide business. Eventually that technology was licensed off to Smith International.

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