Some of the challenges to expanding the successes of Metal Additive Manufacturing (Metal AM) are associated with the manufacturing of refractory and high temperature alloy powders. Wire atomization processes are used to manufacture refractory and high temperature alloy powders. Typical wire atomization processes are more expensive than conventional atomization due to the cost of feedstock; the specific energy consumption being higher; and possibly higher specific gas consumption. This paper introduces Plasma Theiaization Process; a Transferred Arc Wire Atomization (TAWA) technology with the potential to overcome some of the deficiencies of conventional non-transferred arc plasma wire atomization systems. Hydrogen generation combined with this innovative plasma wire arc atomization process can offer new opportunities for several specific alloys that can be more easily processed by plasma wire atomization. Development and commercialization has begun on this breakthrough new metal powder production technique using a plasma wire arc to create atomized metal particles with highly desirable characteristics. This new approach shows promise to reduce both the fixed costs and the variable costs for certain refractory and high temperature materials.

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