Processes


Our production processes are focussed around vacuum induction melting of alloys and we can produce individual melts from just 5kg up to 600kg. The form of these materials varies from powders, through cast alloy ingots and cast shapes to rapidly cooled flake generated by strip casting. All of these materials include rare earth and non-rare earth containing alloys. We also have electrolysis and calciothermic reduction capability for the production of rare earth metals.

Strip cast flake is produced by pouring molten alloy onto a rotating water-cooled copper drum to produce a rapidly cooled product with a specific microstructure. LCM has two 600kg strip cast furnaces which can rapidly deliver multi-tonne quantities and most of this production is of the NdFeB alloy family.

Samarium-cobalt alloy powders are produced by induction melting followed by crushing and milling and also by the reaction of mixed oxides with a reductant metal to produce alloys by the solid state diffusion process known as co-reduction. Both of these families of products are usually supplied in the form of powders, typically 500 microns and down.

Induction melted alloys can also be supplied as ingots cast into steel or water cooled copper moulds in a variety of shapes. Most are supplied simply as broken ingot suitable for addition to more complex alloy systems or reduced into tightly specified particle size ranges to meet customer requirements. Cast shapes include round section bars and half cylinders suitable for secondary melting processes such as spray atomising.

All of our products are produced to order and meet tight customer specifications with respect to composition, low levels of impurities, microstructure, physical form and excellent batch to batch reproducibility. You can therefore rely on LCM to deliver materials that meet your specifications when you need them.