Equispheres has developed a unique process for atomizing powder
that carefully controls the solidification process. (Photo: Equispheres)
Equispheres has received a $5 million investment from Lockheed Martin under the Industrial Regional Benefits (IRB) and Industrial Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. This investment enables Equispheres, an Ottawa, Canada-based materials science company, to accelerate its growth in the provision of high-quality materials required for advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and cold spray deposition.
Each of these technologies requires a unique spherical metal powder in the manufacturing process. Equispheres created a technology for producing perfectly spherical metal powder with specific characteristics desired within the aerospace and automotive industries because these powders yield higher performance and maintenance capabilities.
This investment will allow Equispheres to grow from an existing workforce of 20 to more than 200 employees during the next five years.
"We are very excited to have developed this relationship with Lockheed Martin and secured this investment as it enables Equispheres to offer a broader range of products to the metal powder market, which is doubling in size every 12-to-18 months," said Kevin Nicholds, president and CEO of Equispheres.
Equispheres successfully developed the technology to atomize aluminum alloys. Lockheed Martin's investment enables Equispheres to conduct the research, development, and design work to build reactors that will produce powders of higher strength material such as Inconel, steels, and cobalt chrome.
Lockheed Martin's investment is in direct support of the ITB obligations associated with Canada's purchase of 17 CC-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2010. Lockheed Martin also delivers continued in-service support for the CC-130J fleet.
"This is an excellent example of how the ITB Policy supports the development of new technologies and accelerates the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Canada. We are using the purchasing power from defense procurement to create jobs and drive economic growth across the country," said the Honorable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.
"We are very pleased to see our Investment Framework grant going to such an innovative industry leader like Equispheres," said Charles Bouchard, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Canada. "The success of this investment is another great example of how large, international aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin can collaborate with smaller businesses in Canada to create opportunities for lasting growth in the Canadian economy."