ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH, a division of AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V., has announced that it has acquired a patented wear and corrosion resistance nitriding technology that utilises an active screen plasma nitriding process (ASPN). This revolutionary technology will enable ALD to expand its services to new aerospace and energy applications and the medical market.
The ASPN technology modifies a component’s surface by adding nitrogen, using plasma technologies, to create a specific nitride layer. This modification improves the mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, and electrical conductivity of materials such as niobium alloys for fuel cells and carbon nanoparticles.
ALD and others currently provide alternative nitriding technologies, however none of those technologies is capable of treating the surface of biomaterials due to the inherent limitations (e.g. temperature uniformity, and temperature level – which is essential to maintaining materials’ properties) associated with those technologies. The ASPN technology enables the nitriding process to occur in low temperatures and for non-conductive materials, which is not possible with any other technology commercially available today.
The ability to apply the ASPN technology at low temperatures is the key element that significantly broadens the market for this surface treatment. The ASPN process can be used for the surface treatment of biomaterials such as austenitic stainless steels and titanium alloys and polycaprolactone components for medical implantable devices. This technology enables ALD to access markets valued in excess of $500 million with growth rates above 10%.
Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]