Metalysis Ltd., Rotheram, South Yorkshire, UK, has launched its first commercial metal alloy powder production plant at its facility in Wath upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, UK. The Generation 4 (Gen4) project was mechanically completed in Q4 2017 and has since undergone hot commissioning, trial runs and optimisation. The handover from testing to operation signifies Metalysis’ transition into commercial production, following more than a decade of phased technology development.
Gen4 is the first facility to take Metalysis’ solid-state, modular, electrochemical process to industrial scale is said to be able to produce tens-to-hundreds of tonnes per annum of high value, niche and master alloys. The facility creates a new source of supply for global end-users in advanced manufacturing disciplines including Additive Manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, batteries, light-weighting, magnets and mining.
One of the reported benefits of Metalysis’ technology is its multi-metal capability, which enables the company to produce alloy ‘recipes’ that comparable processing routes cannot. Where conventional technologies are unable to combine elements with melting and density differentials, this technology can because it is a solid-state process. It is said to enable Metalysis to commercially produce a demand-driven product mix of titanium alloys, master alloys including Scandium-Aluminide, compositionally complex alloys including high entropy alloys, magnet materials, high temperature materials and platinum group alloys.
The modularity of the technology is said to offer further benefits, such as its ability to offer a wide range of order quantities. Throughout phased expansions, the technology has also presented opportunities to reduce all-in costs and environmental footprints compared to traditional melting production routes.
“In powering up and operating our industrial plant, Metalysis is poised to achieve its target to generate significant profits from our new South Yorkshire production facility,” stated Dr Dion Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer, Metalysis. “Ours is a true British success story with international implications. Metalysis has grown from the ‘lightbulb moment’ at Cambridge University in the late-1990s, relocated to South Yorkshire to benefit from regional excellence in operational skillsets in the early-2000s, and now onwards towards a bright commercial future.”
In March 2018, the company announced that it had raised £12 million to fund state-of-the-art post-processing facilities, feedstock and provide working capital to support the roll-out of Gen4. Overall, approximately £25 million has been raised to fund the project to completion.