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Prototype of small class gas turbine combustor component (MHA3300)[/caption]
Mitsubishi Power and Aubert & Duval, a manufacturer of special alloys and metal powders, agreed on technology licensing for specific composition and manufacturing of metal powders used as materials for metal additive manufacturing (AM).
The agreement paves the way to a full-scale launch of Mitsubishi Power’s AM business, where the company will use proprietary technologies developed through operations in gas turbines and other thermal power systems. In September, Mitsubishi Power created the "AM-Zone" within its Hitachi Works in Ibaraki Prefecture to serve as a development and manufacturing base for the AM business. The facility is equipped with powder manufacturing equipment and metal AM systems, and is capable of fully integrated production, from the development of powder and wire materials to metal AM and product finishing.
Mitsubishi Power's proprietary material technologies in metal AM can prepare raw materials for various applications and enhance the performance of powder manufacturing equipment. The company uses specially developed high-performance gas nozzles for the gas atomization system to produces metal powder materials by atomizing inert gas into vacuum-fused metals.
The AM-Zone, in collaboration with local governments, conducts tours and other activities to promote greater utilization of AM technologies. Online tours are also being offered to showcase the latest technologies during this period of increasing digitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitsubishi Power said it plans to pursue labor-saving measures through remote operations and digital manufacturing.
A recent report forecast the AM industry to rise and exceed $10Bn within the next 10 years.