Alloyed recently completed a strategic acquisition of an Arc Melter and has installed it alongside its already impressive array of technologies housed in its Oxford, U.K.-based Rapid Alloy Research Centre.
The installation of the Arc Melter follows the investment in an Electro-Thermal Mechanical Testing (ETMT) machine, and in a similar fashion to the ETMT machine adds significantly to Alloyed’s in-house technology capability used on behalf of a broad range of customers working on an array of demanding AM and non-AM metal product applications.
Gael Guetard, Alloyed’s Rapid Alloy Research Centre Director says, “Alloyed is expert in the development, licensing, and manufacture of proprietary alloys, alloy powders, and alloy components for a growing number of industry sectors. The acquisition of the Arc200 from Arcast means that Alloyed is one of the only private commercial companies to have this technology in-house. It has been purchased to complement our two induction melters installed in 2020, these two melters having been key assets for our Cu, Ni, Pt, Fe, and Al alloy development projects. The induction melters use a ceramic crucible which reacts with some alloys and are limited to 2000°C, whereas the Arc200 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.”
The Arc200 uses a tungsten electrode to generate an arc in an argon atmosphere and melts the feedstock materials in a water-cooled copper crucible. The specific machine purchased by Alloyed also has the following options: high vacuum (10-5 mbar) and getter to allow a clean melt; electromagnetic stirring/pulsing and button flipping to ensure the chemical homogeneity of the melt; high power (up to 800 A) to melt virtually any metal; and tilt-casting into a mould to control the solidification structure and shape of the ingot.
Gael continues, “Before we purchased the Arc200, we would outsource the melting of high temperature and reactive alloys, and this had the knock-on effect of increasing cost and lead times of our projects. In addition, it meant that we had little control over quality. Bringing this capability in-house means that we can significantly increase the pace of our alloy development projects and gain more control over the quality of the alloys which is fundamental to customer satisfaction. The arc melter fits within our ‘Rapid Alloy Research Centre’ where the ingots cast in the Arc200 can be processed, characterised and tested. We are currently in the commissioning phase, but we already have several exciting new alloys lined-up: Ti-based alloys for medical applications, bulk metallic glasses for jewellery, high-entropy alloys for gas turbines, refractory-based alloys for space, and more. We are excited to engage with new customers moving forward who can now benefit from our expertise and agility in customised alloy development.”
The investment in the Arc 200 is another example of Alloyed’s commitment to excellence and providing a broad range of complementary services for its pan-industrial global customers.