INTECO obtains FAC for powder production line from Tiangong Aihe Co. Ltd.

In March 2020, a prestigious high-tech project was completed for the premium Chinese customer Tiangong Aihe Co. Ltd. and the final acceptance certificate (FAC) was issued.

Tiangong is one of the “Top 3” global companies in its tool steels product segment and was one of the first to identify the trend towards metal powder production as an innovative technology to enhance the properties and the quality of its materials to an even higher level.

In March 2018, INTECO was commissioned to design and deliver a powder production line for tool and high-speed steels, which are subsequently processed in a hot isostatic press (HIP) to create high-quality products. The plant combines the metallurgical and operational benefits of INTECO’s patented electro-slag heating process (ESH) with an ingenious inert gas atomisation process.

After delivering, assembling and testing the plant on schedule, initial atomisation tests took place at the end of last year. The outbreak of the corona crisis and its spread from China to Europe, once again forced the company to adapt in this project. INTECO’s experts, supported by the client and INTECO´s local employees, were able to supervise the acceptance heats via remote control and adjusted the necessary process parameters. This method proved to be extremely effective and, as a positive side effect, it also helped the client to quickly familiarise itself with the plant and this new technology. As both the atomized metal powder and the final products manufactured as a result have outstanding material properties, the issuance of the FAC was able to be celebrated just a short time later in mid-March. Tiangong is now already operating this powder production line and INTECO is supplying recommended process optimisations based on the results shared by Tiangong.

The plant represents the first of its kind in China and has already aroused considerable interest amongst specialists. It can therefore be assumed that many other companies will also be making use of this premium technology and INTECO will look to reinforce this interest in future projects.


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