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3D printing, a multi-layered success story

Published on March 27, 2024

3 minutes


The process of metal additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – is an industrial technique that consists in building metal parts layer by layer, using digital models. Due to the design freedom and customization it allows, metal additive manufacturing is a rapidly growing technology with a wide range of applications and significant potential for innovation. Applications range from the medical field, to aerospace and automotive, industrial tooling, and even the energy sector. 

Industrial gases play a significant role in metal additive manufacturing processes, impacting quality, efficiency and safety. Air Liquide provides solutions all along the value chain: from gas atomization for metal powder production to the additive manufacturing process itself, to post treatments and parts cleaning.


When it comes to metal parts, a leading technique is powder bed fusion, where thin layers of metal powders are melted and layered. It is an industrial gas-intensive process leading to a significant growth demand: projections point to 20% more gas being needed by 2027(1).

Among the Group’s customers in the sector, ArcelorMittal holds a special place as the global steelmaker is developing a new business focusing on steel powders for additive manufacturing, with its AdamIQTM range. One example of application for the automotive industry consists in coating layers on brake discs to help prolong their life and reduce braking particulates’ emissions. Directly linked to the Euro 7 regulation set by the European Union, it aims at lowering air pollutant emissions from road transport.

Air Liquide also collaborates with ArcelorMittal on gas atomization, a crucial phase for producing metal powders that meet additive manufacturing standards, especially for aerospace, automotive, and medical applications as those require high-quality spherical powders. This process uses significant amounts of argon and nitrogen, as gas is blown onto liquid metal streams to create the powders. ECO ORIGINTM gases are perfectly aligned with ArcelorMittal’s XCarbTM strategy for a sustainable metal manufacturing. In addition to gas supply, Air Liquide leverages its expertise in molecules and its research and knowledge in metal additive manufacturing to optimize processes. Through this fruitful partnership with ArcelorMittal, Air Liquide collaborates on defining technical specifications, sharing innovation projects, and aligning on market opportunities and business visions.

+20% Industrial gas demand growth by 2027 in the additive manufacturing sector⁽¹⁾

“Additive manufacturing is still an emerging market of global manufacturing: it targets high value added applications like lighter parts for aeronautics contributing to reduce their carbon footprint. It is displacing traditional manufacturing processes and it is a great addition to the portfolio of technologies. So, at Air Liquide, we are proud to play a part in its development.”

Fabien Januard
Industrial Merchant Experts Global Network Manager at Air Liquide 

(1) Additive Manufacturing power report.

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