Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) is continuing to drive the adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) in production environments under a new, “ground-breaking,” strategic alliance.

Under the new agreement, TNSC, one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial, specialty and electronic gases has teamed up with LPW Technology Ltd, a leading global provider of metal powder and metal quality control solutions for 3D printing.

Through combined sales and distribution channels, TNSC will be supplying a new range of AM metal powders developed and optimised by LPW technology.

Initially the LPW products will be available through TNSC’s sales hubs in Singapore and China, as well as the US through its subsidiary company MATHESON Tri-Gas.

A statement from TNSC highlighted, “Metal welding solutions are considered by many as the basic building blocks of today’s 3D metal printing technologies. TNSC will leverage its industry expertise in welding processes, metal heat treatment and controlled gas atmospheres to help lower costs, streamline production and eliminate defects for metal AM customers globally.”

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Dermot Desmond, Asia Pacific Sales Manager for LPW Technology, added, “This alliance with TNSC is truly ground-breaking for the industry and will lead to further understanding of the total AM process and ultimately the development of more robust processes and novel alloys.”

The demand for AM metal powder is forecast to grow by around 60% this year. In response, LPW Technology is investing in new UK-based manufacturing facilities capable of processing 1,000 tonnes of metal powder each year.

TNSC has established a dedicated AM technical team at its gas application R&D laboratory in Yamanashi, Japan.

The Japanese gas producer inked a similar deal with AM systems specialist Optomec last month. The Optomec partnership enables TNSC and its subsidiary MATHESON to resell Optomec’s LENS 3D printers as part of a total AM solution, including gases, powder feed stock and metal heat treatment techniques.