Rusal plans to produce aluminum powder for additive manufacturing
The Russian company Rusal, which ranked third in the world in the terms of aluminum production in 2007, has decided to start the production of aluminum powder for 3D printing. To fill the market with high quality materials for additive manufacturing, it has begun to cooperate with Sauer GmbH - a manufacturer of equipment for metalworking.
According to the agreement between the two companies, Sauer GmbH shall provide the necessary hardware for 3D printing and Rusal shall adjust the production of aluminum powder. This deal will become the first agreement of such kind for the Russian manufacturer.
In Moscow, the market price of one ton of aluminum alloy amounts to $ 200,000. Rusal offers far more affordable option; so cooperation between the two companies is likely to bring them huge benefits.
The company's capacity is enough to produce about 20 thousand tons per year, according to the director of the Rusal's new business areas department. As about 150 tons of aluminum powder are consumed worldwide annually, the activity of the company will flood the market with budget and quality material for additive manufacturing of metal goods. In the future, Rusal wants to occupy 25% of the world market for 3D printing powders.
Sauer GmbH is a part of an international organization DGM MORI, which specializes in developing innovative equipment. The organization plans to recommend Rusal's product to its customers; that will allow the company to enter the international market. First, however, the Russian producer has to pass the required certification.
At the moment, Rusal is negotiating with two domestic and two foreign companies producing equipment for 3D printing. In addition, raw materials of the Russian producer are tested by 29 organizations. The cost of aluminum powder amounts to $ 1.6 thousand per ton.