Solution sought for the measurement of refractory metals in high temperature furnaces


Austrian manufacturer of refractory metals, Plansee, is seeking a technical solution to measure different parameters such as gas, temperature, surface conditions of molybdenum and tungsten in industrial furnaces. Solutions could range from sensor technology to image analysis. They are looking for start-ups that could offer solutions to measure physical, chemical and geometrical parameters inside high temperature furnaces and chemical reactors.


As part of a regional innovation program in Tyrol, the Austrian company Plansee is seeking start-ups from Europe and beyond. The company is a manufacturer of refractory metals such as molybdenum, tungsten, tantalum, niobium and chromium components for high temperature applications. The alloys and composite materials are used in electronics, coating technology or high-temperature furnaces.

The company’s challenge is to detect and measure different parameters in batch-type high temperature furnaces or process chambers. For example, measurements on the temperature, deformation, and surface condition of components in the hot zone or gas phase compositions of the atmosphere in the furnace are of interest in the short-term regime (single process cycle) and the long-term regime (furnace lifetime) as well. The company seeks also for solutions to observe and quantify thermal gradients at high temperatures or signatures involving melting processes. Currently, standard sensors and measurement techniques provide insufficient results in order to monitor process stability or improve component lifetime.

Potential partners should offer a measurement solution of hard-to-reach components in extreme environmental conditions inside high temperature (up to 2000 °C) furnaces and chemical reactors and transmit this information to a receiver (control unit). In particular the solution should measure physical, chemical and geometric parameters such as temperature, gas, surface structure etc. A long service life would also be desirable. The company is open to any type of solution (proof of concept, prototype or already on the market) from European start-ups to codevelop and/or implement the technology. Potential start-ups could offer solutions to capture process parameters and material properties of refractory metal products (e.g. by means of sensor technologies, image analysis or any other technology) during production process.

Company Profile

Plansee is a globally active group of companies with more than 14,000 employees. With its divisions Plansee HPM (100%), Ceratizit (50%), GTP (100%) and Molymet (21%), the Plansee Group covers every stage in the manufacturing of tungsten and molybdenum. All divisions achieve excellence along the whole value chain of molybdenum and tungsten production.

Plansee uses powder metallurgical methods in combination with thermomechanical forming, advanced machining and shaping techniques for customer specific products. Markets of Plansee HPM are: consumer electronics, medical devices, Engineering, semiconductor, alloy additions, automotive, aerospace and defence, power generation and distribution.

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