AMETEK Specialty Metal Products (SMP) produces filter powders that can be used in a variety of medical products, such as porous flow restrictors in ventilators to control oxygen flow and prevent clogs in the system. AMETEK SMP’s manufacturing process involves several steps that each have an impact on the morphology of the finished product, the company explained in a news release. Starting from the initial selection of raw materials to processing them into molten metal to water atomizing them into a fine powder, the team works to continuously improve and control the product’s particle size distribution and ensure optimum particle shape for the individual job specification.
For instance, AMETEK SMP tailors the water atomization process typically used to ensure the highest quality powder so that it forms highly irregular shapes of powder grains that are critical for medical filter producers. The filtration powders produced by AMETEK SMP are then pressed and carefully shaped by the filter producers to offer precision assistance with flow control in medical applications, such as ventilators.
Brad Richards, product manager for powders based at the AMETEK SMP facility in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, reported that customers keep returning for the wide range of specifications that their metal powders can accommodate. “We have a very comprehensive portfolio in terms of supplying any specialty or customized alloy powders that a medical or industrial producer might need for their filter grade powders. The primary materials that we make for medical powders are alloys of 316L and 17-4PH stainless steel, as well as various nickel-based alloys,” Richards explained in a news release. “We also have a very long legacy of producing filter powders, going back to the 1970s, when we were operating one of the very first water-atomized powder production plants. Our customers appreciate the quality of our filter grade products, the longevity of our operations, and, of course, our technical know-how.”