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Improved Stability of Gas Atomized Reactive Powders Through Multiple Step In-Situ Passivation

Ames Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary
Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a process to passivate magnesium powders through the creation of a protective film
Passivation of magnesium using fluorine-containing gases is well known and extensively used in the die casting industry, and a single-step process to create a thin shell containing fluorine is the subject of previous Ames Laboratory patent.  This newest invention describes a process in which fluorine-containing gases are introduced into the atomizer spray chamber following a first reactive species, resulting in a oxy-fluorine rich scale on the surface of the magnesium powder during free-fall of the powders.  Powders produced in this way show reduced flammability versus commercial compositions (ignition temperature of 635°C versus 525°C).
• Increased ductility of film yields better protection than native oxide film.
• Significantly increased onset temperature for ignition reduces flammability hazard during production, handling, transport and storage.
Applications and Industries
Passivated magnesium powders for improved safety
More Information


ISURF Direct Link:

Publication: “Investigation of a novel passivation technique for gas atomized magnesium powders”, A. Steinmetz, MS Thesis, Iowa State University, 2011.


“Investigation of a novel passivation technique for gas atomized magnesium powders”, A. Steinmetz, MS Thesis, Iowa State University, 2011.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 9,650,309
Stability of gas atomized reactive powders through multiple step in-situ passivation
A method for gas atomization of oxygen-reactive reactive metals and alloys wherein the atomized particles are exposed as they solidify and cool in a very short time to multiple gaseous reactive agents for the in-situ formation of a protective reaction film on the atomized particles. The present invention is especially useful for making highly pyrophoric reactive metal or alloy atomized powders, such as atomized magnesium and magnesium alloy powders. The gaseous reactive species (agents) are introduced into the atomization spray chamber at locations downstream of a gas atomizing nozzle as determined by the desired powder or particle temperature for the reactions and the desired thickness of the reaction film.
Technology Status
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To: Craig Forney<>