A South Yorkshire metals company is today launching a research centre as part of a £10million expansion set to create 35 jobs.
Metal powders pioneer Metalysis is staging a gala opening ceremony at its new facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, with 200 guests from industry, government, banking and academia.
Business minister Lord Prior and Rotherham Council leader Chris Read were set to cut the ribbon.
The firm is moving its headquarters into the Materials Discovery Centre from its base in Wath-upon-Dearne, which is also receiving investment. The enlarged company will employ 100.
Metalysis, which was set up in 2001, is just coming good after spending years pioneering a new way to make exotic metal powders - such as titanium and tantalum - that is faster, cheaper and greener than traditional methods.
They are ideally suited to 3D printing - a booming area for industries such as aerospace, automotive and medicine.
The firm now plans to start making ‘thousands of tonnes of high value metal alloy powders’ every year.
Chief executive Dion Vaughan said: “Using the deep talent base around Sheffield University and the AMRC, fantastic and capable colleagues in this historically industrious Rotherham area, supported by patient investors, Metalysis will define the next chapter in an arc of innovation stretching back to Huntsman, Bessemer and Brearley.”
Metalysis is backed by long term funders including Iluka Resources, Woodford Funds and BHP Billiton.
The first new customer, Mkango Resources, is paying the firm to develop 3D printed rare earth magnets for electric vehicles.
The workforce will receive its first boost in May when four traineeships begin. There are also plans to create local apprenticeships in research and design,analytical services and administration business functions. Recruitment is under way.
The Advanced Manufacturing Park is also home to a Rolls Royce blade casting factory – and McLaren Automotive is set to move in.
Today’s £10m expansion is part of a £20m funding round announced in The Star last year.
Metalysis received a combined investment from Woodford Patient Capital Trust, managed by Neil Woodford, one of Britain’s most prominent fund managers, and Iluka Resources, an existing investor.