The decade is finally coming to an end and with it our centennial celebration is drawing to a close. We have spent the last twelve months reflecting on the many successes of H.C. Starck Solutions throughout our 100 year history. It has been a truly collaborative effort, spanning teams across the globe, and we are truly thankful for the input from employees in both Europe and the United States.

As our final centennial article of 2020, we thought it was only right that we finish with the spotlight on one of our newest facilities: Taicang, China; our self-proclaimed tungsten centre of excellence.

A Brief History of the Taicang Plant

H.C. Starck Solutions first established our tungsten heavy alloy (WHA) business in China’s prosperous Jiangsu province in 2006. The site initially welcomed a small team of twenty-six who shared the ambitious goal of building a new centre for high-quality parts fabricated with molybdenum and tungsten. Initial work focussed on WHA balance weights and shielding parts for aerospace and medical applications, but within a year grew to include output of molybdenum discs for power semiconductors.

Following the implementation of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, the Taicang plant was subject to a complete re-structure which laid the groundwork for future development. Today, the plant covers an area of 5,150m2.

The Tungsten Center of Excellence concept was officially launched in 2012, allowing us to achieve MEUR 4 funding. Throughout 2013, investment from our Tungsten Center of Excellence efforts allowed us to install all the base equipment for expanding into the furnace and industrial markets. By July of the following year, this new section of the plant was fully operational.

Today, our key equipment zones in the factory include 5-axis precision machining, a 400mm workpiece hot upset riveting machine, a 650mpa waterjet cutter, a cold isostatic press suitable for tungsten and tungsten alloys, a high temperature vacuum induction furnace, and high temperature sintering furnaces with a pure tungsten susceptor capable of generating working temperatures approaching 2300C.

Our Taicang Plant Today

This comprehensive range of machinery has enabled us to consolidate our product offering for industrial and furnace markets, particularly following expansion into tungsten-copper thermal management development in 2016. Today, Taicang employs a team of 61 employees who are tasked with delivering high-quality fabricated parts to an ever-growing range of markets—with nuclear products on the horizon.

Thank you for reading our last article in the H.C. Starck Solutions 100 Years of Refractory Metals of Expertise celebration. If you have any questions about Taicang, or any of the other plants featured in our year-long celebration, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team today.