ASM Online Member Community

  • 1.  Reclassification of cobalt powder by the European Community

    Posted 03-26-2021 11:44

    I am interested on feedback on this issue from the community: 

    Cobalt powder, used heavily in maraging powders for additive manufacturing (AM) applications,  since 2020 been reclassified within the  European Union.  This has far-reaching impact on powder manufacturers and users. My company has powder production facilities in Europe and AM production capabilities there and throughout the world, and we recommend the use of maraging steels in our customer's applications, amongst other alloy types.  We have actually removed one of our maraging grades from the market, largely because of this reclassification. 

    This is what I have learned briefly about this matter:

    • In February 2020 the EU published the 14th ATP to the CLP Regulation, including an update of the harmonized classification rules for cobalt metal, with the Generic Concentration Limit of 0.1 %, which will start to apply from October 2021.
    • Cobalt metal was already subject to national provisions and legislation, such that exposure by inhalation and to skin in the workplace needs to be minimized and the level has to be controlled.
    • Because of the new classification, cobalt is subject to restrictions regarding the sale of substances that may be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction, and additional risk management measures might need to be taken at the workplaces where professional downstream users handle cobalt-containing powder products, to make sure that individuals won't be exposed.

    As most maraging steel powders that are used for additive manufacturing contain cobalt, including the widely used 1.2709, these powders will be affected by these new regulations, making production more complicated and expensive.

    I would be interested in knowing what others may understand about this situation or how it may affect them.

    Patricia Miller

    Patricia Miller
    Director: new product development and training
    Itasca IL

  • 2.  RE: Reclassification of cobalt powder by the European Community

    ASM Employee
    Posted 06-29-2021 10:01
    Following up on this inquiry - wondering if anyone has insight into this? Perhaps a member who works on cobalt powders or maraging steel powders??

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Carrie Hawk
    ASM International
    Community Engagement Specialist