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Developing enhanced-performance materials for metal additive manufacturing


Alexander O’Brien

CEO & Co-Founder

Company details

To support a world desperately seeking clean energy, materials innovation needs to match the pace of design innovation. Applications such as nuclear power, aerospace, wind energy, traditional energy & thermal power, can all benefit from materials with enhanced operational performance. Specifically new structural materials are needed with higher temperature tolerance, enhanced strength and toughness, robust corrosion resistance, and improved radiation survivability. MIT spinout company AtoMe has developed a platform approach to accelerate and improve the pace and results of material development, utilizing a technique of rapid enhancement with nano-reinforcement. Metal materials augmented with ceramic additions can achieve powerful improvements in mechanical and thermal properties. Modern 3D printing opens the door both to rapid iteration to create exciting new material combinations and scalable production of these composites for the first time. AtoMe has already developed a new material with improved properties versus existing alloys used for highly demanding nuclear applications. This first material has 15% higher ultimate tensile strength, over 100 degree C increase in upper temperature limit, 5x decrease in embrittlement due to radiation, and 20% higher hardness. By improving grain structure and adjusting compositional chemistry with robust ceramic nano-precipitates, AtoMe can achieve property improvements for a variety of base metals at both room temperature and high temperatures, while choice and concentration of additive add an extra layer of tunability to produce a material uniquely suited to the needs of the end-user. The team is currently scaling production to enable sampling across a variety of industry applications.

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