Overview

Metalysis has a commercially proven electrolytic technology which can reduce metal oxides and ores into pure metals and alloys

Our process operates at lower temperature and lower energy consumption than traditional melting technologies because reduction takes place in the solid-state. It requires inexpensive components and generates no toxic by-products. Pre-alloyed or ore feedstock may be used directly because it is a ‘powder in, powder out’ process, too.

Metals are constrained by their melting points and densities. In conventional melting technology, this renders some compositions obsolete; but Metalysis’ process is able to generate metal powders, in-demand alloy powders and completely new alloys, in some cases historically considered impossible.

Metalysis possesses unique and patented technology to develop the environmentally cleaner products of tomorrow.

Powder Metallurgy

Metalysis’ solid-state process can produce many periodic table metals and commercially attractive known alloys. It also provides the opportunity to produce for a vast number of new alloys previously considered too difficult to create, or too costly, in spite of their potentially revolutionary applications. This includes high entropy alloys, which are a particular area of commercial R&D focus for the company and may be produced according to market demand.

Oxide Refining

Metalysis’ wet chemistry refractory metal refining facility utilises its proprietary solvent extraction system. Primarily refining tantalum and niobium, Metalysis’ capability gives unique control over oxide powder characteristics, including morphology, purity and a chemical mixing system for pre-alloy oxide feed stock.

By having exacting control over oxide production Metalysis can control particulate properties. Metalysis can prepare precision feedstock products of high purity or multi-element mixtures resulting in bespoke morphologies and metal powder characteristics from the subsequent molten salt de-oxidation process.

The discovery

Metalysis’ story began in 1997 at the Materials Science and Metallurgy Department, University of Cambridge, UK.

While researching the use of electrolysis in titanium purification, the lightbulb moment occurred for a team led by Professor Derek Fray FRS FREng.

Fray’s team discovered a new way to reduce pure titanium oxide and many other oxides to their respective metals. Subsequent tests proved the discovery and results were published in September 2000 (Nature 361-364 2000).

Named after its founders, the discovery became known as the “FFC” process; the ‘ecosystem’ supporting the company’s broader proprietary technology.

By 2005, Metalysis had moved to South Yorkshire and the commercial journey began and now counts over 300 patents in its portfolio.

The FFC Cambridge Process offers exciting opportunities for synthesising unique metal alloy powders from oxides for near net shape processing and metal additive manufacturing; areas which Metalysis is very well positioned to exploit.

Professor Derek Fray

Metalysis produces and sells ore concentrates, oxide powders, metallic powders and also provides commercial R&D services to a global client base.