Article | Energies | Cross-functional disciplines
Powder Metallurgy, Plastics Processing and Assembly Platform
The Powder Metallurgy, Plastics Processing, and Assembly Platform develops and manufactures high-added-value components from
metal, ceramic, semiconducting, magnetic, and
thermoplastic powders, as well as
solid metal and ceramic parts. The platform prepares the powders and uses additive manufacturing,
HIP (hot isostatic pressing), and
brazing to obtain parts with
complex geometries with near net shape results, reducing the need for extra surface finishing steps. It is also home to characterization equipment and digital design, modeling, and simulation tools.
Plastics processing techniques like extrusion and injection molding, additive manufacturing techniques like UV-curing, extrusion, and binder jet printing), hot isostatic pressing, and brazing are all used at the platform. These near net shape techniques reduce the amount of raw material used and limit the need for additional finishing steps, potentially lowering costs.
Before manufacturing, the
raw materials are prepared to optimize the finished part's properties. When metal, ceramic, magnetic, plastic, and other
powders are used, properties can be fine tuned in a way that is impossible with the
material in its solid state. Tiny parts with complex shapes, lightweight hollow structures, dielectric components with high thermal conductivity, energy recovery devices, and high-performance magnets can all be manufactured in this way. Last, but not least, different processes can be combined to produce complex multi-material components.
The Powder Metallurgy, Plastics Processing, and Assembly Platform has a
complete line of semi-industrial equipment. It can handle all component manufacturing process steps:
Powder formulation and preparation
Injection molding, pressing, or printing
De-binding and sintering
Strip casting and the associated characterization techniques
The platform positions CEA-Liten as a leader in the development of
high-performance NdFeB permanent magnets, with know-how spanning all industrial manufacturing process steps.
is home to a uniquely broad range of equipment covering all steps in the production process:
These activities are backed by a variety of characterization techniques:
CEA-Liten is also engaged in multiple research, development, and innovation projects around powder metallurgy backed by the EU and the French government. CALHIPSO, which received a French government EquipEx grant, involves an academic partner (Université de Bourgogne) and is financed by the French National Research Agency (ANR). This industry-building project is particularly ambitious.
CEA-Liten is leading efforts to develop a high-performance, economically competitive, and sovereign permanent magnet manufacturing industry in France. The recovery and recycling of critical materials will be one of its main pillars.
CEA has been using Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) to manufacture complex parts for nearly 40 years. HIP can be used to post-process parts manufactured using conventional casting and powder metallurgy processes. It can also be used to sinter powders, effectively compacting them, and to assemble solid parts by diffusion welding. HIP, once reserved for the nuclear and aeronautics industries, is now making inroads into the renewable energy market, where it is helping support the energy transition.
The digital publication Open Access Government published an article about the EU project SUPREME. Thierry Baffie, research engineer at the CEA-Liten and coordinator of the EU project SUPREME, highlights achievements in sustainable powder metallurgy
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CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.