There is constrained domestic availability of strategic metals, superalloys or titanium for example, unacceptably exposing the US military to dependency on foreign sources. A near-term solution is found in the nations boneyards, MRO facilities, and machine shops. End of life parts, machine shop scrap, or used powders, represent an untapped source of strategic metals that can provide the US military a secure domestic supply of superalloys
provided they can be economically recycled into materials with properties equivalent to original feedstock specifications required for system parts manufacturing. Amastan Technologies developed microwave plasma technology, UniMelt, for continuous particle densification and spheroidization; and scaled it to systems of 100 ton/year output and 24/7 capability. Metal feedstocks continuously pass through a 6000K uniform plasma, with controlled residence times in heating and cooling zones, enabling engineered control of end-product size, morphology, crystallinity, chemistry, and quality. UniMelt has successfully demonstrated proof-of-concept transformation of superalloy shop scrap into high quality powders. This project will optimize UniMelt, producing quality superalloy materials from end-of-life parts and scrap, and qualifying for reuse. The result will be the establishment of an assured domestic source of superalloy materials produced from scrap, in commercial quantities, at affordable costs
taking materials from Grave to Cradle.