Tuesday, August 16, 2016

News: Metalysis outline further expansion plans


Metalysis, the Rotherham-based innovator, is set to increase titanium and tantalum production to a commercial scale at its current site as it also takes on new high profile premises on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The Manvers company holds the worldwide exploitation rights to the FCC Cambridge process which sees specialist powder metals created in a simple, cost effective process with significant environmental benefits. It is in the process of commercialising the technology to produce titanium, tantalum, and related high value alloys. These are used increasingly by major worldwide industries such as aerospace, marine, medical, chemical, automotive and electronics.

Backed by investors and grants, the Cambridge University spin out recently secured £20m and confirmed plans to take a 22,000 sq ft unit on the AMP to create a process facility.

Now plans have been submitted that would enable an extension and alterations to its current Farfield Park facility including the installation of a mezzanine floor. It would add another 4,000 sq ft of space to the unit.

Having formed a partnership with K Home International, the Teesside-based engineering and design consultancy specialising in the primary metals industry, the plans state that: "It is deemed that the Research & Development section will be relocated to a new facility within the Rotherham/Sheffield area by September 2016. When this move takes place, space becomes available to accommodate further production facilities. This takes the form of a new reactor design, a titanium wash/dryer package, and a new thermal oxidiser plus modification works to the utilities."

Around 20 people are initially set to be based at the new process site on the AMP, with plans to double this number over time. Plans for the Manvers site show that staff numbers could increase from 63 to 83 FTEs.


If approved the facility could produce 20 tonnes per year of the cheaper titanium metal that has the potential to compete with and displace other products such as complex steel and super alloys which currently have high production costs.

The current $10 billion titanium market size is constrained by the cost of the metal and is poised to expand rapidly if the cost can be lowered.

Initially a single reactor will be catered for but the plans add that a second could be included as more investors come on board. Metalysis has previously set out plans for an initial public offering (IPO) to float on the stock exchange.

The Metalysis technology, which produces metal powder directly from oxide using electrolysis, has the potential to significantly increase production volumes. The process uses less energy and also means that innovative alloys can be tailored to have the desired properties for specific applications.

High grade and uniform, the lower-cost powders suit a wide variety of 3D printing needs across a variety of high-tech, industrial and manufacturing sectors. For example, further to the 3D printing of aerospace and automotive components, Metalysis has recently completed a programme with TWI, a UK leader in materials technology innovation that has a base on the AMP in Rotherham, which demonstrated the feasibility of its bespoke powders for 3D printing orthopaedic hip implants.

Metalysis is also working on major development projects with aerospace experts, GKN and German car maker, VW.

Metalysis website

Images: Metalysis


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