Designers and engineers searching for more intricate and lighter components have been given a welcome boost with the launch of customised alloy powders by Goodfellow Cambridge.
The Huntingdon-based manufacturer of specialist metals and materials is targeting more than £500,000 of additional sales from this introduction and is expecting significant interest from customers involved in additive manufacturing, structural jet engines, hydrogen storage and even medical implants.
Allowing greater alloy composition, particle size and increased flexibility in batch quantity, the new customised alloy powders will also include High-Entropy Alloys (HEA) that have superior properties critical for future material innovations.
The characteristics offer great strength and hardness, excellent corrosion/fatigue/fracture and irradiation resistance and good thermal stability, as well as good ductility and magnetic properties.
“We can now create a HEA by using nearly any combination of elements, offering massive potential for advancements in manufacturing design and, interestingly, the production of 3D-printed components,” explained Aphrodite Tomou, head of technical. “Thanks to our long-standing relationships with several specialist partners, we are the only UK supplier of customised alloy powders and are already working with designers and engineers to help them unlock experimental and production benefits. This is an exciting introduction.”
Goodfellow, which employs over 100 people at its Ermine Business Park site, uses patented ultrasonic technology to produce state-of-the-art alloy powders characterised by their high sphericity and narrow particle size distribution.
The company’s technical team can advise on the different compositions required for certain applications and, to help accelerate innovation and more R&D activity, it can supply the powders in batches as small as 100g.
Ms Tomou continued: “Additive manufacturing has the potential to be a significant market for our business. This is because high-end technological systems increasingly demand lightweight and intricate components, which can be produced more efficiently and with less material waste using 3D printing.
“This new form of technology is already taking the weight out of parts destined for airplanes and rockets, whilst, in the medical industry, it will increasingly be used in customised implants and prosthetics.”
She concluded: “It is also a rapidly evolving field and there are many exciting developments on the horizon. For example, researchers are working on new materials that can be 3D printed, such as graphene, nanodiamonds and carbon fibre composites that open up unique properties and new possibilities.”
Goodfellow Cambridge is a global supplier of metals, alloys, composites, and other materials to meet the research, development and specialist production requirements of science and industry.
The company has an extensive range of 150,000 catalogue products in multiple forms available off the shelf, most subject to free delivery within 48 hours and with no minimum order quantities.
It also offers a comprehensive range of bespoke processing services, effectively operating as an extension of a customer’s production team to develop custom-fabricated components in any quantity required.