Metallurgy enters the micro level
Experts from the high-tech technopark of the Sverdlovsk region of Russia supported the project for the production of copper eco-powder. The new Ural technology has already been called innovative and environmentally friendly.
The authors of the new technology have experimented for several years in the field of production and use of copper flake powders. NPO Cooper Smart was created when the idea not only “hatched”, but was thoroughly researched — a little over a year ago. Developers and experts are confident that eco-powder will be able to compete with the copper powders used in the industry today — it is distinguished by fine grinding and high quality.
“The granulometric composition of the finished product varies from 315 to 20 microns. By expanding the capabilities of our technology, we have obtained ultrafine eco-powder — from 20 to two microns. We are currently modernizing our equipment to produce ultradispersed eco-powder in industrial volumes,” said Alexander Konks, director of the NPO Cooper Smart.
The technology is based on processing of secondary copper-containing raw materials. Moreover, the raw materials turn into powder in the most environmentally friendly way, without using complex pyrometallurgical or electrolytic processes. By using mechanical production method, the thinnest copper «petals» completely retain the quality of the metal and do not stick together. In addition, copper powder does not burn or explode.
According to Alexander Konks, the developers sought to create a technology that increases the efficiency of processes and reduces the cost of the final product. And they believe that they have succeeded — copper eco-powder can become an alternative to metal powders which are currently widespread on the market. It is in high demand in the chemical industry (as it is used in production of greases, conductive pastes), in architecture and construction, as well as in production of decorative and finishing materials, paint and varnish coatings.
They plan to expand the scope of application of copper powder. Potential consumers of the Ural product can be enterprises of the aviation and aerospace industries, as well as metallurgists and petrochemists. According to the project manager of the technopark Svetlana Kharina, the technology has good potential for implementation.