Vulkam raises €34m to build its first amorphous metals production plant

Exhibiting at EPHJ, Vulkam has announced that it has raised €34 million to build its first amorphous metals production plant, a revolution in metallurgy and a promise of industrial relocation.

Most of the funds raised will go towards the production investments needed to industrialise amorphous metals. It will also be used to accelerate the company’s commercial and technological roll-out.

Vulkam is a deeptech company aiming to revolutionise metallurgy through the industrial development of amorphous metals. The €34 million financing consists of €14 million in equity led by the SPI 2 Fund, managed on behalf of the French government by Bpifrance as part of France 2030, its historic investors (Supernova Invest, UI Investissement, BNP Paribas Développement and Crédit Agricole Sud Rhône Alpes Capital), plus the impact fund Inco Ventures and Groupe SEB (via its SEB Alliance investment vehicle), as well as a private equity investor, Vertech. This capital increase is complemented by a €20 million investment: €6 million from the French government via France 2030 programmes (including “Première Usine”), and €14 million in bank loans from Bpifrance.

The funds raised will be used to finance the operational launch in 2025 of Vulkam’s first plant, located in Isère, and dedicated to the production of its new metals for industry, Vulkalloys®, with unprecedented mechanical performance designed to set a future standard in metallurgy and metalworking.

A patented technology, the result of 30 years of academic research
Founded in 2017 by Sébastien Gravier, a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure-Paris Saclay, mechanical engineering expert, mechanical design associate and Doctor of Metallurgy, and Alexis Lenain, Doctor of Metallurgy, Vulkam draws on 30 years of metallurgy research at SIMaP, a laboratory formed from the merger of 3 research units from CNRS, Grenoble INP and UGA. The company, whose
technological breakthroughs are covered by 9 patents (3 of which were transferred by Linksium, which supported the creation of the company), has successfully completed the technology qualification and prototyping phase. It is now entering the industrialisation phase for its processes and new metals.
Ambitions commensurate with these revolutionary metals

Vulkam’s amorphous metals, Vulkalloys®, are alloys whose atomic organization has been modified, giving them radically improved properties. Whereas in a conventional metal alloy, the atoms are always organised in an orderly fashion, in amorphous metals or “metal glasses”, they occur in a random fashion. This disorganised structure offers unequalled properties in terms of hardness and abrasion resistance, comparable to those of ceramics, but without being brittle.

Amorphous metal alloys differ from crystalline metals in that their strength is 2 to 3 times greater than that of conventional metals. In addition, the high-precision thermo-moulding production processes developed and patented by Vulkam drastically reduce the quantities of raw materials required. This technique, which is similar to plastic injection moulding or pressure die-casting, enables the direct manufacture – without any additional machining operations and therefore waste – of parts reaching precision levels of a few micrometres. The resulting savings in raw materials and CO2 emissions are estimated to be at least 50% and 30% respectively compared with the conventional equivalent.

A first industrial site in Isère
Resistance, miniaturisation, environmental impact… three advances that promise a breakthrough in the metallurgical industry. The financial operation announced today will fund the construction of the first 3,000 square metre plant at Le Versoud (Isère). With a total budget of €15 million (building, production line, equipment), this industrial production unit should be operational in 2025, with the aim of producing 2 million parts in the first year, rising to 4 million by 2026.

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