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How to Produce Metal Powder for 3D Printing

Risk aversion plunged on the positive news of the Russia-Ukraine talks. After several days of rising oil prices, the price of precious metals continued to fall. Domestic futures markets remain stable for the time being.

Back in international markets, WTI crude futures briefly dipped below $100 a barrel, while Brent crude hit its lowest intraday level in nearly two weeks. Spot gold briefly fell below $1,900 an ounce. Comex gold futures closed down 1.1 percent at $1,918.4 an ounce. Comex silver futures closed down 1.14 percent at $24.91 an ounce. “Recently, crude oil prices have been extremely sensitive to changes in geopolitical news.” Traders believe that the current oil price is still in the broad impact, Ukraine will still be a premium in the case, although the market further decline, but should not be too pessimistic, it is recommended to wait and see for the time being. The Ukrainian premium is still there and there will be some volatility in the Metal Powder market.

The metal powder preparation method can be divided into: reduction method,
electrolysis method, grinding method, atomization method, etc. according to the
preparation process. At present, the two most advanced powder making processes
commonly used in China are the argon atomization method and the plasma rotating
electrode method.


Argon atomization

The argon atomization method is a pulverizing method that uses fast-flowing
argon gas to impact metal liquid, break it into fine particles, and then
condense into solid powder.

Plasma rotating electrode method

The plasma state is called the fourth state of matter. The plasma rotating
electrode atomization (PREP method) powder making process can be simply
described as: the metal or alloy is made into a consumable electrode, and the
end of the consumable electrode is in the coaxial plasma arc Under the action of
the heating source, the liquid film is melted to form a liquid film. The liquid
film is thrown out at a high speed under the action of the rotating centrifugal
force to form droplets. The molten droplets rub against the inert gas (argon or
helium) in the atomization chamber, and further under the action of shear
stress. Broken, and then the droplets are rapidly cooled and solidified into
spherical powder under the action of surface tension.

The metal powder produced by the plasma rotating electrode method has the
following advantages:

High sphericity, smooth surface, good fluidity, and high bulk density, so the
powder uniformity is good, and the printed product is dense; the powder particle
size is small, the particle size distribution is narrow, the oxygen content is
low, and the printing time is less/no spheroidization And agglomeration
phenomenon, good melting effect, high product surface finish, and the
consistency and uniformity of printing can be fully guaranteed; there is
basically no hollow powder and satellite powder, and there will be no air gaps
and curls caused by hollow balls during the printing process. Defects such as
penetration and precipitation pores and cracks.


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Europe has been facing the gas shortage problem since the second half of 2021. The worsening situation in Russia and Ukraine has reduced Russian gas shipments to Europe, leading to a doubling of European gas prices. Energy shortages have sent electricity prices soaring. For these reasons, it is predicted that the price of the Metal Powder will continue to increase.

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