Hyperion has secured the exclusive rights to the patented Granulation-Sintering-Deoxygenation (“GSD”) technology developed by Dr. Z. Zak Fang for producing low-to-zero carbon, low-cost spherical titanium powders.
GSD offers major advantages in the production of spherical titanium for use in 3D printing, including:
- Production of titanium and titanium alloy powders with low oxygen, controllable particle size and excellent flowability
- Higher manufacturing yields than current processes, leading to significantly lower costs
- Energy efficient process leading to a low-to-zero carbon process when coupled with renewable power
- Ability to utilize lower cost and sustainable feedstocks including recycled titanium metal powders/scrap or HAMR titanium powders
The combination of these technologies has the potential to disrupt not just the high value titanium metals and powders market, but also the far larger aluminum and stainless-steel markets.
GSD Process - Breakthrough spherical powder technology
Granulation-sintering-deoxygenation (GSD) is a thermochemical process for producing spherical titanium powders used in 3D printing and additive manufacturing and was invented by Dr. Z. Zak Fang and his team at the University of Utah.
The GSD technology significantly improves the yield, by up to 50%, and produces a spherical powder with low oxygen, controllable particle size and excellent flowability.
The GSD manufacturing process steps are:
- Titanium metal or alloy is hydrogenated to make friable hydride and is then milled into fine particles
- The fine hydride particles are granulated into spherical granules in the desired size range using spraydrying
- The spherical granules are sintered to produce densified spherical titanium powder
- The densified spherical titanium powder is deoxygenated with magnesium to reduce the oxygen content to product specifications
The GSD technology can also introduce desirable alloying ingredients with the titanium hydride powder made in Step 1 to make titanium alloys. For example, titanium hydride powder can be blended with aluminum and vanadium powders to create the widely used alloy Ti-6Al-4V. Other alloying elements for titanium include Fe, Nb, Zr and Mo.
Importantly, the source material can also be recycled titanium scrap material. The manufacturing of titanium components and structures can generate a large amount of titanium machining chips (this ‘scrap ’can be over 90% for complex traditionally milled parts). This scrap titanium can be sorted, cleaned, and prepared for processing as the source material in Step 1 above. This recycling pathway for the GSD technology can reduce costs and significantly improve the sustainability of titanium metal manufacturing.