ArcelorMittal enters AM industry as a steel powder supplier

ArcelorMittal has announced the building of an industrial-scale inert gas atomiser in Aviles, Spain, to produce steel powders for multiple additive manufacturing (AM) technologies.


The company said the atomiser will start production in January 2024 and will have a batch-size production capability from 200kg to 3 tonnes, and an initial annual capacity of 1000 tonnes.

ArcelorMittal aims to supply significant volumes of steel powders with ‘consistent quality, reliability and traceability’, for various AM technologies, such as laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), binder jetting (BJ) and direct energy deposition (DED).

According to the company, the atomiser will produce powders from scrap steel using renewable electricity, atomising with industrial gases produced by renewable energy and using recycled and recyclable packaging solutions.

The steel powders are said to be offered in size ranges suitable for all existing powder-based metal additive technologies in manufacturing industries such as aerospace, defence, automotive, medical, and energy.

They can also be used in technological developments, such as brake disc coatings being developed to help Automotive OEMs and Tier Ones comply with the EU7 regulation on particle emissions. A layer of powder deposited on the brake disc provides wear and corrosion resistance, which significantly reduces the particulate emissions of braking.

In a statement, Gregory Ludkovsky, CEO of global R&D, ArcelorMittal, said: “The additive manufacturing industry has grown phenomenally over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow in double digits over the next 10 years.

“While the production of steel powders is a new venture for ArcelorMittal, we are confident that our metallurgical expertise and solutions-based approach will provide our customers with the support they need to improve the quality and reliability of their additive manufacturing projects.”

ArcelorMittal claims AM can create new opportunities for manufacturing industries by enabling the production of complex, customised parts with enhanced properties while simultaneously reducing material waste.

The company’s steel powders and AM capabilities were unveiled at the Formnext trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany (November 7-10, 2023), including examples of developed printed parts. The R&D team said they intend to develop further steel powder products for customers to test in 2024.

Colin Hautz, CEO of ArcelorMittal Powders, added: "From our facility in Spain, we will offer a range of steel powders tailored to our customers’ needs. A technology as innovative and disruptive as additive manufacturing not only allows us to think about changes in the design and manufacturing process of many parts and components we use today, but also exploit one of the inherently sustainable characteristics of steel – its recyclability."