TANAKA Succeeds in Developing World’s First High-Entropy Alloy Powder Composed Only of Precious Metals

October 25, 2023

TANAKA Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K., which develops industrial precious metals products as one of the core companies of TANAKA Precious Metals, announced that it has succeeded in creating a high-entropy alloy powder composed of precious metals with a fine particle size of 10µm or less high crystallinity and excellent composition uniformity. This product is the world’s first high-entropy alloy powder composed of only five precious metals: platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), iridium (Ir), ruthenium (Ru), and rhodium (Rh). TANAKA has already established a mass production process for this product and plans to begin providing samples in October.

TANAKA has established five or more precious metal alloy powders and their production methods, which are used in this product, and obtained a basic patent in June 2023 (Patent No. 7300565)1. The precious metal alloy powders in this product are alloys composed only of five or more precious metal elements that maintain the corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and other excellent properties of precious metals. They are micro-order2 alloy powders that are easy to use in industrial applications. Unlike conventional nano-order precious metal high-entropy alloys, micro-order alloys are stable as alloys due to their large crystallite size, and they satisfy the original requirements of alloys, such as improved mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, and controlled thermal expansion. They are also expected to contribute to the improvement of the functions and properties of precious metal alloys, whose properties vary greatly depending on the composition ratio of the alloy.

The precious metal alloy in this product is in powder form, and in addition to modeling using a 3D printer and rod forming (forming rod-shaped material by solidifying powder), it can also be used in paste form, which is often used in various circuits and sensors. Furthermore, the high strength and high heat resistance properties of high-entropy alloys are expected to be utilized in catalysts and conductive films that require high durability, among other applications.

1 Patent related to high-entropy alloy powder granted on June 29, 2023 (Patent No. 7300565). The precious metal alloy powder in this product is defined as (1) precious metal alloy powder consisting of an alloy of five or more precious metal elements, (2) average particle size of 10µm or less, (3) crystallite size of 60nm or more, and (4) one peak observed in the range of diffraction angle 2θ of 38 to 44° in the X-ray diffraction spectrum.
2 Order: A term used in physics, engineering, and other fields to roughly express the magnitude of a number. It represents the number of digits or degrees of a unit.

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