Höganäs launches additive manufacturing and MIM venture

Höganäs AB, the world’s
largest producer of powdered metals, has developed a new
product venture focused on the areas of additive manufacturing
and Metal Injection Molding (MIM).

Called Customization Technologies, the new area will be
part of the Höganäs Industrial business, and has been
created to meet recent demand for the technical development of
AM and MIM .

The relationship between additive and MIM

Additive manufacturing and MIM are closely linked by the metal
binder jetting process. The MIM process gained recognition in
engineering throughout the 1990s. Following this prominence,

a number of companies have invented binder-jetting based 3D
printing technologies
by utilizing the comparatively cheap
metal powder used in the MIM process.

Höganäs subsidiary Digital
Metal
is one such company that has developed metal binder
jet 3D printers using MIM powders. By jetting a liquid binder
onto the powder that is afterwards sintered from the metal by
heat, Digital Metal 3D printers can create incredibly detailed
bespoke components, including
bespoke busts
.

Inkjet 3D printing on powder bed. Image via Hoganas.Inkjet 3D printing on
powder bed. Image via Höganäs

Genesis of strong position in the market

In its new Customization Technologies business
segment, Höganäs will work on solutions across entire
additive and MIM value chain. Products will include the
development of new applications for the technologies, support,
market development and global sales.

Customization Technologies will also leverage the expertise of
the company’s recent acquisitions of America Makes partner
H.C. Starck
Surface Technology and Ceramic Powders
, and Swedish
spherical metal powder producer Metasphere Technology – in
an endeavour specifically focused on
materials production for AM
.

Kennet Almkvist, Senior Vice President of Commercial will be
heading up the Customization Technologies segment. “With
this new venture,” explains Almkvist, “Höganäs becomes a strong
global supplier of products and services within these fields on
an international, expanding market.”

3D printed component emerges from a bed of metal powder. Photo via Höganäs AB3D printed component
emerges from a bed of metal powder. Photo via Höganäs AB

Fredrik Emilsson, CEO of Höganäs AB, concludes:

“Höganäs already has a number of successful metal powders in
AM and we see further opportunities to grow rapidly within
both AM and MIM.”

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Featured image shows a 3D printed sample from Höganäs
subsidiary Digital Metal. Photo via Digital Metal

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