Energy Consumption in Metal Powder Production

Martin Dopler, Christian Weiß

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch


The increasing demand for metal powders for additive manufacturing applications goes hand in hand with a growing energy consumption for the production of these powders. More demanding powder qualities, e.g. finer powders, might require even higher energy intensities with an increased atomization gas pressure and temperature or higher melt superheat. Furthermore, spherical particles and generally particles with a lower oxygen content demand the use of nitrogen, argon, or even helium as atomization gas instead of compressed air. This study is a contribution to understand the impact of these parameters on the carbon footprint of the metal powder product.
This contribution demonstrates that the energy efficiency of a metal powder production process can be defined by relating the theoretical energy to generate the overall surface of the powder particles as produced by disintegration of the melt flow, which equals the powder’s surface energy, to the actual energy consumption of the atomization process. A simplified melt breakup model based on linear stability analysis is used to estimate the impact of the most important production parameters on the energy consumption of the process. The results from the theoretical modelling are compared to the actual powder production data, and methods to improve the carbon footprint of the atomization process are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalBerg- und hüttenmännische Monatshefte : BHM
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2021

Cite this