Technology & Innovation

Innovative Pow(d)er

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Tantalum and Niobium powder production and development has been our core competency for over 50 years – we are your best-in-class tantalum and niobium partner for tailored product development and innovative process solutions to provide the very highest powder quality. Investing in new materials and powder processes optimisation for innovative applications is an integral part of our R&D strategy.

We have developed tantalum and niobium powders with the innovative strength to drive trends like miniaturization and ubiquitous connectivity. However, H.C. Starck Tantalum Niobium does not stop there, we are continuously improving our portfolio and shape our powders to match the requirements of new applications and markets.

Solutions for additive manufacturing, medical applications and the technologies required for autonomous driving are just some of the examples of our innovative power.

Facilitating Megatrends

Better global connectivity

High volume data connectivity is an integral part of today’s technological progress; rapid growth of wireless data access and the need for high speed data processing is greater than ever before. Electrical devices are becoming faster, smaller, more connected, and more energy efficient.

The Internet of Things, smart grids, smart factories, vehicle-to-vehicle communication cannot work efficiently without our tantalum and niobium powders.

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Our innovative approach makes it possible to develop thinner and smaller electronic devices with comprehensive functionality, and thus providing a continuous contribution to a better global connectivity.

Changing demographics

In the face of constantly changing demographics, diagnostics and medical treatment is becoming ever more demanding. The development of modern medicine makes it possible to live longer and more comfortable lives. Technologies such as 3D-printing open up entirely new ways of manufacturing custom-made components and highly complex elements that have up to now been simply unthinkable.

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3-D printing technology in combination with our new AMPERTEC® Spherical Tantalum and Niobium Powders makes it possible to produce bio-compatible implants with outstanding mechanical properties, individually for each person.

Future mobility

Our mobility behavior will change radically in the years to come. Forecasts predict that by 2030, more than one in three kilometers driven may already involve sharing concepts, autonomous mobility could rise to 40% and over 55% of all car sales will involve fully electrified vehicles. Automotive electronics encompasses a wide range of applications, from cabin entertainment, airbags and ABS to ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems).

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High-voltage tantalum capacitor powders, through their optimal properties including enhanced reliability, wide temperature range and low leakage, are the perfect foundation for capacitors used in electronic mobility applications, contributing to the increase of vehicle reliability and passenger safety.

Environmental responsibility

Sustainability is changing the way we experience life in the 21st century. Benefitting from strong economic growth at the expense of environment is no longer an option. We see it as our responsibility to ensure the reasonable utilization of scarce and valuable resources by actively paving the way towards responsible raw material consumption.
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One of the core pillars of our sustainable supply chain management is the environmentally sound recycling process that allows to keep high level of powder quality. We have the capacity to reclaim tantalum and niobium from almost any type of scrap, while at the same time, assuming responsibility for the sustainable use of natural resources.

Technological Competency

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The clear majority of our tantalum and niobium powders is tailor-made, based on customer specifications. The close cooperation with our customers in order to provide materials fully adopted to their processes is one of our core competencies. This requires the ability to adjust not only the composition but also the purity and morphology of the powder to provide the required result.

Our team can draw upon deep material knowledge, unique equipment and strong process expertise including unique equipment for hydrometallurgy, high temperature processes and mechanical treatments for development and production of tailor-made materials.

Our strong customer focus ensures continuous innovation with the highest product quality.

Process Excellence

Our company boasts world leading production technologies and process expertise based on 50 years of experience, which allows us to provide powders with the very highest purities. Thanks to our innovative tantalum and niobium recycling processes, we are able to reclaim pure tantalum and niobium from almost any type of tantalum containing scrap or production by-products. Depending on the required product our experienced team manufactures our tantalum and niobium powders in the following production steps: pyro metallurgy, hydro metallurgy or powder metallurgy.

CHEMICAL PLANTS

This is where the wet chemical extraction of tantalum and niobium is performed from raw materials, as well as the purification and crystallization of tantalum and niobium for high-end applications. We process a broad variety of feedstock into a sophisticated portfolio of powders, specialty oxides, chlorides, compounds & alloy additives. Advanced process technology allows for highest purities.

SMELTING PLANT

The pyrometallurgical process extracts tantalum and niobium from low-grade raw materials by means of melting and thermal treatment.

A unique technology allows for the utilization of a broad raw material base to diversify supply and realize cost advantages.

METAL PLANTS

In our metal plants we adjust the compositions and design of the physical properties of powder particles by high temperature reactions, milling, sieving and granulation. In house developed magnesium reduction for capacitor powders allows highest energy densities which outperform current technologies.