Metalysis opens Materials Discovery Centre

Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Borough Council, Dion Vaughan, chief executive officer (CEO) of Metalysis, Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Douglas Caster, chairman of Metalysis

British company Metalysis—the owner of an electrolysis-based technology that allows for low-cost and environmentally-friendly production of metal powders—has announced the opening of its Materials Discovery Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK.

The new Materials Discovery Centre will undertake commercial R&D projects to produce exotic metal powders for high-performance alloys used in additive manufacturing (AM) applications. Metalysis’s first new customer Mkango Resources—a Canada-based company focused on the exploration and development of rare earth elements (REE) and associated minerals in Malawi—will be enlisting the company’s expertise in developing 3D printed rare earth magnets for electric vehicles.

The inauguration of the Materials Discovery Centre took place on March 30 and comprised an exhibition titled The Future of Solid State Metal Processing, a one-off tour of the premises and speeches made by Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council.

Live powder processing experiments, presentations and a laboratory turned into a cinema allowed Metalysis to share its ambitious plans for future growth. More than 200 company executives, researchers, scientists, politicians and financiers attended.

Metalysis has invested approximately 10 million GBP (12.4mn USD) in the Materials Discovery Centre as well as a Generation 4 technological expansion of its Materials Manufacture Centre, also located in Rotherham. Generation 4 will significantly increase the company’s production capabilities and, in turn, enable a Generation 5 technological expansion. It is claimed that Generation 5, which is expected to commence this calendar year, will allow for the realization of thousands of tons of metal alloy powders per annum.

At least 100 new employment opportunities will be created across the two sites. Four traineeships will begin in May and talks are ongoing to offer local apprenticeships that enhance operations, R&D, analytical services and administration business functions. The company will also continue offering work placement opportunities and supporting school career activities for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students from local secondary schools.

Douglas Caster, chairman of Metalysis, said: ‘We have a truly unique, patented technology that can produce highly desired metals and novel alloys which have historically been considered too difficult or too exotic and costly. The UK stands to benefit from our world-leading, transformational process and I am very excited to see what the coming decade will bring for Metalysis.’

Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), further commented: ‘The investment in the new Materials Discovery Centre […] will lead the UK’s effort to develop innovative materials for the manufacturing industry and uphold our reputation for scientific excellence across the world.’

A number of Metalysis’s partners participated in the The Future of Solid State Metal Processing exhibition, namely: the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA); Khome International; Lanner; MAPP (the Engineering and Physical Research Sciences Council (EPSRC) Future Manufacturing Hub in Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes); OVO Spaces; Renishaw; Rotherham Investment and Development Office; Safran Landing Systems; TWI; and the University of Sheffield. Proceeds were raised for The Rotherham Hospice.