Alpha HPA grows first synthetic sapphire used in LED lights


Aluminium chemicals company Alpha HPA’s Alpha Sapphire has successfully grown the first ~300kg of synthetic sapphire crystal boules (pictured) in maiden growth runs from the company’s first two sapphire growth units at the facility in Gladstone, Queensland.

The facility, which recently achieved its first small scale commercial production of high purity aluminium nitrate (Al-nitrate,) produced its first sapphire which is used in consumer electronics, medical, defence and LED light substrates.

Synthetic sapphire glass is the pure crystalline form of high purity alumina (HPA)

Alpha HPA’s Managing Director Rimas Kairaitis said: “Alpha Sapphire is delighted to advise that the company has successfully grown the first 300kg of C-axis synthetic sapphire crystal boules as maiden runs from our first two growth units at our Gladstone HPA facility.

“Next production will commence immediately.”

The sapphires will be sent to the company’s technology provider Ebner-Fametec’s facility in Austria for further quality assurance testing and two boules for sapphire processing into ingots for further testing ahead of the start of customer qualification.

“This is a very exciting milestone for the company and also represents what we believe is the first production of synthetic sapphire in Australia.

“The Alpha HPA process and the Ebner-Fametec growth technology each represent innovative and disruptive technologies and are perfectly matched in the production of low-carbon synthetic sapphire.”

Supported by up to $30 million project funding from Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund, Alpha Sapphire plans to grow production from an original two synthetic sapphire growth units to an ultimate 100 units.

In June 2023, the agreement between Alpha and Ebner-Fametec was expanded to include a LOI to work co-operatively on sapphire marketing and to target an additional, large-scale expansion of the Australia based sapphire growth installation, referred to as the ‘Nova Phase’.

The Nova Phase will consider the purchase, construction, installation and operation of up to an additional 1,000 synthetic sapphire growth units.

Further reading:
Alpha HPA progresses battery metals precursor production

Picture: Alpha HPA/Two of the first sapphire boules (left and right) grown from the maiden sapphire growth run – crucibles and feedstock shown at the centre of the image.

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