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Nitrogen atomization now available at MIMETE plant

Nitrogen atomization now available at MIMETE plant
Thursday, July 14, 2022

Since the very beginning, the MIMETE manufacturing facility was built in order to process both Argon and Nitrogen gases. The first phase of plant design started with Argon gas, now we have ended the second phase of plant development by adding the possibility of using Nitrogen gas.

As the demand for custom metal powders has increased significantly and the potential technical advantages Nitrogen provides is widely recognized, we decided to proceed with phase two of our plant enhancement. Some interesting new alloys, specifically developed in partnership with our customers, have revealed that manufacturing based on Argon gas would not fulfil all the technical requirements of the customer as when it is performed with Nitrogen gas.

Moreover, Nitrogen gas is mandatory for some specific technologies and applications, as it provides the perfect chemical composition and therefore the desired mechanical properties during the final stage. The plant’s lean design ensures, through a simple switch, a fully automatic changeover of the system, ensuring an elevated degree of efficiency and avoiding contamination.

In order to maintain the highest atomizing performance, the Viga software automatically manages the different physical properties between the two gases.

Mimete atomization recipes are custom made in order to exploit the distinctive properties of each gas (for instance, Nitrogen bears lower specific weight and higher cooling capacity) and to achieve the best metal powder characteristics.

As both gases are inert, they are able to reach very low levels of oxidation in the molten and powder forms. Therefore, they can be equally employed in the metal powder manufacturing. However, when we are facing a specific end market, with precise requirements, distinct combinations of alloys and technologies, the choice of which gas to deploy is crucial.

Argon is the gas of choice for manufacturing processes where high purity is requested, for example, nickel superalloys. Nitrogen has the upper hand in steel manufacturing dedicated to HIP consolidation as it is soluble in metal.

Andrea Tarabiono – Manufacturing Director: “The addition of Nitrogen, as an alternative to Argon, integrates our starting plant set up, giving us the opportunity to fulfil the specifications of new customers, and introduce brand- new alloys that were not feasible before. With a lean process, switching from one gas to the other is simple and straightforward. Moreover it results in zero contamination between the two gases and enhances our market response".