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Metal injection molding licensing agreement signed by RTP

RTP Company : 15 March, 2002  (Company News)
RTP Company of Winona, Minnesota announces that it has become the exclusive North American licensee for PowderFlo Metal Injection Molding compounds. The agreement with Latitude Manufacturing Technologies of Hackettstown, NJ grants RTP Company the rights to commercially compound and sell MIM materials using the PowderFlo trade name.
This historic agreement marks RTP Company's entry into the $36 billion metal materials market. According to Robert J. Wick, Product Manager-Structural Materials for RTP Company, 'The agreement enables RTP Company to translate its vast knowledge of compounding and molding to the MIM industry. Our customers who now work exclusively with plastics will be able to use PowderFlo materials to expand into entirely new markets while utilizing their existing injection molding equipment. Being able to offer consistent and quality MIM feedstocks that give metals processing characteristics similar to plastics allows RTP Company to greatly expand the range of material solutions we can offer our customers.'

For Latitude Manufacturing Technologies, the agreement signals a significant step in the growth of the MIM market. 'PowderFlo materials are the most advanced in the industry,' says Tom Pelletiers, Director of Sales and Marketing for Latitude Manufacturing Technologies, 'and RTP Company has an equal degree of advanced processing expertise. Coupled with RTP Company's worldwide reputation for materials innovation and responsive technical service, this agreement creates a team that can realize the promise of MIM for a manufacturer. The technology is no longer developmental. It's available now in a proven, commercially viable process with full technical backing.'

One of the key features of this technology is that PowderFlo products require no debinding. Unlike other MIM binders which require solvent, thermal, or other possibly toxic debinding steps, PowderFlo products achieve their high degree of purity through simple air-drying. Because of PowderFlo's unique binder system (a patented combination of aqueous agar and proprietary additives), the materials can be used to make products weighing over 200 grams and there is no limitation on wall thickness. In addition, PowderFlo materials can be custom formulated by RTP Company to meet the specific needs of a particular application.

PowderFlo products are currently available in grades of stainless steels (stocked grades are 316L, and 17-4PH), nickel alloys, and pure copper. All are available in 50 lb. to truckload quantities. Additional MIM grades will be available in the near future. RTP Company and Latitude Manufacturing Technologies will jointly engage in continued R&D and market development for PowderFlo products along with providing technical assistance to customers.

RTP Company has been a technological leader in the custom compounding of thermoplastics for over 20 years. The company has seven manufacturing plants, plus sales representatives throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia/Pacific Rim. RTP Company's engineers routinely develop specialty compounds in over 60 different engineering resin systems for applications requiring unique color, conductive, flame retardant, high temperature, shielding, structural, and wear resistant properties.
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