Partnering opportunity

French spin-off offering new sintering technology for multi-material applications

Summary

A French spin-off has scaled-up years of research and development in the technology of spark plasma sintering using a wide range of metals, mineral and organic materials for applications in the aerospace, defense, automotive and luxury industries. The company is looking for partners in these sectors or other sectors requiring high-quality and performance parts for a technical cooperation first and/or a manufacturing agreement.

Partner sought

Type : industrial companies in the field of aerospace, defense, the automotive sector, cutting tools, watchmaking - jewelery, leather goods, eyewear, cutlery Role : 2 possibilities 1° the partner sought is providing part specifications to be studied under technical cooperation agreement until prototyping stage by the offering company. Production can be done a) by the offering company itself b) by the partner sought using the offering company's equipment in both case under manufacturing agreement or c) by the partner sought itself with a similar equipment after technical guidance from the offering company through technology transfer 2° the offering company and the partner sought co-develop new improvement of SPS technology for complex shape parts under technical cooperation agreement

Description

Sintering exists for many years in order to create mechanical parts from metal powder. However, commonly used sintering technologies have several drawbacks in terms of mechanical properties and industrial process which makes them not always as performing as required in demanding industries such as aerospace (in terms of resistance) or luxury (in terms of outlook and finition) for instance. The spark plasma sintering (SPS) technology is a disruptive technology in the field of powder materials because it is providing much higher quality parts (in terms of mechanical resistance, hardness, surface) and shorter cycle times than other existing sintering technologies. This French company has been spined-off from a laboratory of the local university with an EU wide reknown know-how in the field of nanomaterials and powder based materials technologies. The company has set-up a special machinery equipment based on the technology which allows to produced customised parts with defined microstructures from different powder materials (organic, metallic, composite). The business model and go-to-market strategy of the company follows 3 stages : design and feasibility study, prototyping (small batch), and production (larger batch). Currently the company has developed applications for clients with high performance material needs in the sectors of aerospace, defense, automotive and luxury industries which all have international markets. The company is now looking to expand abroad and it is offering its know-how, R&D and/or production capacity to 1° develop new products made from natural materials using SPS technology under a technical cooperation and a manufacturing agreement In this case the company is adapting the SPS technology process to the part to be produced and the manufacturing process specifications (prototyping). Bacth manufacturing can be made by the company under manufacturing agreement or by the partner after a transfer of the SPS technology or 2° co-develop and improve the SPS process to create parts of complex shapes not currently produced through sintering techniques under technical cooperation. In this case, the company and the partner sought will co-develop new functionalities of the SPS process. Sectors of activity that may be of interest include the automotive sector, cutting tools, watchmaking - jewellery, leather goods, eyewear, cutlery ...

Advantages and innovations

Compared to existing technologies such as High Pressing (HP) technologies, hot isotactic pressing (HIP), metal injection molding (MIM) or Scan-Pack, the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technology makes it possible to obtain better mechanical resistance (+200%), ballistic efficiency (+ 23%) and hardness (+ 28%). It is also opening up new possibilities for customers with an efficient process: energy efficient, fast cycle-time and near net shape (up to 80%.) The technology also allows to join different materials without additives which makes it more environmentally friendly and less costly than other joining technologies.

Development stage

Prototype available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patents granted


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