Drums of recycled plastic for 3D metal powders

Marc Martens Marc Martens Facebook Linkedin

CurTec recently had the opportunity to visit Carpenter Additive in Widnes, producer of off-the-shelve and customized alloy powders for metal additive manufacturing. Their PowderRange products are sold in easy-to-handle quantities of up to 10 kgs, packed in CurTec Wide Neck Drums. We were hosted by Stephen Keddie and Jessica Howard who talked about their business, product applications and the importance of sustainable packaging.

Carpenter Technology has over 130 years of metallurgical experience and uses its knowledge to provide a range of high-quality metal powders and alloys developed specifically for 3D printing processes in various industries including healthcare, aerospace, energy and transportation.

High-strength medical implants made of essentially Nickel- and Cobalt-free stainless steel powders

Parts of Formula 1 cars, the Mars Rover and Cern Centrifuge, for example, are printed with metal powders from Carpenter Additive. Closer to home, you'll find Carpenter Additive's alloys used in knee and hip implants and the BMW i7. All examples of products that need never-failing components and whose designers and makers must be able to confidently rely on raw materials.

Product properties determine packaging requirements

Important properties of metal powders, which are essential for consistent, repeatable and reliable additive manufacturing, are packing density and fluidity, both of which greatly determine the  requirements that a bulk packaging should fulfill.

Packing density and flowability

High density metal powders require robust packaging that can guarantee protection against shock load during shipment. Smooth flowing powders should be warranted by a container that blocks moisture (vapor) ingress and thus prevents powder caking.

Cleanliness is paramount

Cleanliness is of paramount importance because the smallest form of contamination or impurity can cause weakness in forming of critical parts and shapes. A UN marking with a high gross mass is the last safety aspect to be met, as some/most metal powders can be considered toxic/hazardous.

CurTec Wide Neck Drums ticked all the required boxes and on top of that allowed easy handling and a distinctive design that supports the image of Carpenter Additive’s high-quality metal powders.

PowderRange products are of recent sold in Wide Neck Drums made of recycled plastic

Sustainable and recycled drums

Like CurTec, Carpenter Additive attaches great importance to sustainable development and CSR. Sustainable development started as an employee driven initiative. Co-workers set-up an environmental committee that wanted to make a difference with small initiatives and create awareness for sustainability and the environment. For example, Carpenter Additive would plant a tree for each metal hopper used for the delivery of their metal powders,! And that’s just one example.

Recently, Carpenter Additive placed their first order for Wide Neck Drums made of recycled plastic – a big step forward for them in fulfilling their sustainability promise to customers and reducing the carbon footprint of their supply chain.

Additionally, the company also invests a lot of energy and money into the research for recycling of metal powders. Reusing drums is almost impossible at this time due to the risk of contamination, but in the future Carpenter Additive is willing to explore new options.

Many thanks to Stephen Keddie (Production Planning) and Jessica Howard (Global Marketing)

About Carpenter Additive

Would you, just like Carpenter Additive, like to lower the carbon footprint of your supply chain? Drums of recycled plastic are not the only option... We can help you find a sustainable packaging solution that fits your needs.

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