Powdermet Celebrates 15th Anniversary
2011 marks 15 years of rapid progress for Powdermet. Confident that our advanced technologies would be recognized for their unsurpassed capabilities, we ventured into partnerships with corporations Kennametal, Inc. and Abakan, Inc., while having our products validated through contracts with NASA, the U.S. Armed Forces, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.
The past 15 years have been nothing but growth for our 20+ person firm. It was founded by Andrew Sherman, the inventor of the R&D 100 award-winning “Fast Fluidized Bed Chemical Vapor Deposition (FFBCVD)” process that enables the production of metal-coated fine powders. Mr. Sherman purchased this technology from Ultramet in 1996 in the startup of Powdermet as a spin-off of Ultramet.
Powdermet started in a Los Angeles warehouse with the grand idea of building the revolutionary performance of coated nanoparticles into functional, low-cost “building blocks” that could be converted into real-world components via current manufacturing processes.
In 2003, after six years in California, Powdermet relocated and expanded into its new 54,000 square foot production plant in Euclid, Ohio, acquiring and renovating it from a former brownfield industrial site. We opened our Stage I nanoengineered powder production facility with the assistance of a brownfield redevelopment loan from the county. The Euclid plant has the capability to produce two to three million pounds of powder per year.
In 2007, Powdermet opened its 24,000 square foot Nanomaterials Research and Manufacturing Center, containing research facilities for thermal analysis, mechanical testing, and a coating wear and performance testing laboratory.
The entire Powdermet campus includes an 18,000 sq. ft. high bay manufacturing building, and a 36,000 sq. ft., three-floor R&D Center with over 26 individual labs. These labs focus on a variety of technologies, including high-temperature thermal analysis and XRD; furnace development and sintering; foam processing; and refractory metals development. A coating development/thermal spray laboratory is currently being installed. The facility also includes ten R&D, pilot, and commercial-scale reactors for producing up to 100,000 pounds/year of nanoengineered particulates.
Today, Powdermet is a nationally recognized nanotechnology and advanced materials research and development organization. We develop, mature, and transition breakthrough materials innovations that enable reduced weight, resource consumption, environmental footprint, and life-cycle costs.
Powdermet’s three revolutionary technology platforms include:
SComP™; family of hierarchically structured syntactic metal and ceramic composites known for their light weight properties and ability to absorb energy, and (in the ceramic versions), their high temperature structural and insulation values.
MComP™; a family of micro-nanocomposite, hierarchically structured metal composites having extremely high strength-to-weight ratios while retaining high toughness.
EnComP™; hierarchically structured nanocomposites for energy applications, including advanced materials for hydrogen production and storage; high surface area structures for fuel cells, hydrogen production membranes, and advanced filtration; and reactive materials solutions for improved active defense systems to protect U.S. military personnel.
Powdermet’s EnComP™ Energetic Composites
Energetic composites are a class of materials that engineer the storage and release of energy. Called EnComP™, they are designed to release high amounts of stored energy, or change the rate that energy is released, or increase or decrease the sensitivity of a compound to shock and impact.
Despite the wide range of potential markets, use of energetic materials is often limited by safety concerns associated with material sensitivity and long-term storage. Powdermet has addressed these concerns by developing methods to coat reactive materials with non-reactive materials, and vice versa. Furthermore, our processing methods allow us to tailor EnComP functionality by choosing the appropriate formulation and coating, as well as by adjusting/controlling the energy release rate, burn time, and burn temperature.
Variations of these energetic composites include propellants, nanothermites, explosives, thermobarics, materials for hydrogen storage, battery annodes and cathodes, fuel cell components, and pyrotechnic compositions.
Further projects involving energetic materials that Powdermet is pursuing are chemical storage of hydrogen in a liquid, improved insensitive munitions, and improved bi-spectral obscurants.
Contact Brian Doud, General Manager for more information on this exciting product line.
Powdermet Spinoff MesoCoat
Wins 2011 R&D 100 Award!
MesoCoat won for its CermaClad™ coating technology, and no wonder! CermaClad metal/ceramic powder is applied 15 to 100 times faster than competitive weld or laser cladding processes, is cheaper, and offers better metallurgical properties. It provides excellent resistance to corrosion, wear, and erosion, and serves as a direct replacement for hard chrome plating.
How it works is the reason: CermaClad™ utilizes a high-intensity light source to rapidly fuse corrosion and wear-resistant metal and ceramic powders onto steel pipes, plates, and bars.
To speed commercialization of the technology, this past April, MesoCoat began construction of a new 11,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant at its site in Euclid, with completion expected by September. This facility will have a CermaClad™ line set up to produce about 10,000 square meters of clad tubes, pipes, and plates. It also includes state-of-the-art equipment for blasting, application, and testing.
For more information, contact Mario Medanic, MesoCoat General Manager, CermaClad™ at email@example.com.