EOS and Hyperion team up to revolutionize titanium 3D printing

When it comes to advancing new technologies, strategic partnerships between companies can be the key to success. Such collaborations with other industrial companies or partnerships with manufacturers from the consumer goods sector can also be observed in the world of additive manufacturing. Most recently, Hiperbaric and Aenium, among others, entered into a partnership in order to jointly establish the HIP process. Another example is Carbon and Specialized, who combined their know-how to make new bicycle saddles. It has now been announced that EOS and Hyperion Metals will work together to bring HAMR and GSD technologies to additive manufacturing. The two companies have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding for this purpose and specified the goals of the technology partnership.

EOS is one of the world’s leading 3D printing manufacturers for industrial purposes and has set itself the goal of offering responsible manufacturing solutions with its portfolio. Hyperion Metals is active in the raw materials sector and aims to become the leading developer of CO2-free, sustainable materials in the future. An argument that coincides with EOS’s own goals, because sustainability is one of the guiding principles of the German company. The aim of the partnership is to optimize titanium metal powders for additive manufacturing using the HAMR or GSD process. Compared to conventional titanium metal powders, the two companies want to develop a carbon-free spherical titanium powder at a fraction of the cost and thus revolutionize the existing market. Titanium powder is one of the materials used in metal 3D printing, a process that is becoming increasingly popular.

Titanium: a popular light metal

Titanium is one of the light metals and is therefore often used in the aerospace and automotive industries. In addition to 3D printing, these two industries are among the most important for Hyperion Metals. The EOS product range also includes Ti64, Ti64ELI and TiCP titanium alloys. The two processes that are intended to revolutionize the existing range are two technologies for which Hyperion Metals has the exclusive license.

HAMR technology for non-spherical titanium metal powders was developed at the University of Utah by Professor Zhigang Zak Fang. At the time, the project was supported by funds from the Ministry of Energy as well as from Boeing and Arconic and enables the production of non-spherical titanium powders that have superior properties compared to commercially available titanium sponges. The process is expected to use 50% less energy to produce the powder while being competitive with the Kroll process.

EOS Hyperion

Liebherr trolley support made of Ti64, manufactured with an EOS machine (Image: Liebherr / EOS)

GSD (Granulation Sintering and Deoxygenation) technology builds on HAMR and uses HAMR powder, Ti scrap or Ti sponge to produce spherical titanium metal powder. The spherical shape ensures optimal flowability of the material and can therefore be used, among other things, as a printing material in additive manufacturing. GSD is an innovative process with which Hyperion intends to start pilot production in the third quarter of 2021. The aim is to develop a titanium alloy powder with a low oxygen content, controllable particle size distribution and excellent flowability.

Now it remains to be seen how EOS and Hyperion Metals will leverage the synergies from the partnership. Sascha Rudoloph, Commercial Director Metal Materials at EOS, says: “The HAMR and GSD technology has the potential to lower the barriers to entry for titanium in existing markets with more conventional materials and to enable completely new mass market applications where a weight ratio is crucial – for example with electric vehicles. “

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