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Powder metallurgy

ing them into a die of the desired shape, and then heating
the compressed material (green part) in a controlled at-
mosphere to bond the material by sintering. This pro-
duces precise parts, normally very close to the die di-
mensions, but with 5-15% porosity, and thus sub-wrought
steel properties. There are several other PM processes
which have been developed over the last fty years. These
include:

Powder forging. A preform made by the conven-


tional press and sinter method is heated and then
hot forged to full density, resulting in practically as-
wrought properties.

Iron powder is commonly used for sintering Hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Here the powder (nor-
mally gas atomized, spherical type) is lled into a
Powder metallurgy (PM) is a term covering a wide range mould, normally consisting of a metallic can of
of ways in which materials or components are made from suitable shape. The can is vibrated, then evacu-
metal powders. PM processes can avoid, or greatly re- ated and sealed. It is then placed in a hot isostatic
duce, the need to use metal removal processes, thereby press, where it is heated to a homologous temper-
drastically reducing yield losses in manufacture and of- ature of around 0.7, and subjected to an external
ten resulting in lower costs. gas pressure of ~100MPa (1000bar, 15,000psi) for
10-100minutes. This results in a shaped part of full
Powder metallurgy is also used to make unique materials
density with as-wrought or better, properties. HIP
impossible to melt or form in other ways. A very impor-
was invented in the 1950-60s and entered tonnage
tant product of this type is tungsten carbide (WC). WC is
production in the 1970-80s. In 2015, it was used to
used to cut and form other metals and is made from WC
produce ~25,000t/yr of stainless and tool steels, as
particles bonded with cobalt. It is very widely used in in-
well as important parts of superalloys for jet engines.
dustry for tools of many types and globally ~50,000t/yr
is made by PM. Other products include sintered lters, Metal injection moulding (MIM). Here the powder,
porous oil-impregnated bearings, electrical contacts and normally very ne (<25microns) and spherical, is
diamond tools. mixed with plastic or wax binder to near the max-
imum solid loading, typically around 65vol%, and
injection moulded to form a green part of com-
1 Overview plex geometry. This part is then heated or otherwise
treated to remove the binder (debinding) to give a
The PM press and sinter process generally consists brown part. This part is then sintered, and shrinks
of three basic steps: powder blending(pulverisation), by ~18% to give a complex and 97-99% dense n-
die compaction, and sintering. Compaction is gener- ished part. Invented in the 1970s, production has
ally performed at room temperature, and the elevated- increased since 2000 with an estimated global vol-
temperature process of sintering is usually conducted at ume in 2014 of 12,000t worth 1265millions.[2]
atmospheric pressure and under carefully controlled at- Electric current assisted sintering (ECAS) technolo-
mosphere composition. Optional secondary processing gies rely on electric currents to densify powders,
such as coining or heat treatment often follows to obtain with the advantage of reducing production time dra-
special properties or enhanced precision.[1] matically (from 15 minutes of the slowest ECAS
One of the older such methods, and still one used to to a few microseconds of the fastest), not requiring
make around 1Mt/yr of structural components of iron- a long heat furnace and allowing to obtain near to
based alloys, is the process of blending ne (<180 mi- theoretical densities but with the drawback of sim-
crons) metal (normally iron) powders with additives such ple shapes. Powders employed in ECAS can avoid
as a lubricant wax, carbon, copper, and/or nickel, press- binders thanks to the possibility of direct sintering,

1
2 3 POWDER PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES

without the need of pre-pressing and a green com- materials as porous solids, aggregates, and intermetallic
pact. Molds are designed for the nal part shape compounds. Competitive characteristics of manufactur-
since the powders densify while lling the cavity un- ing processing (e.g. tool wear, complexity, or vendor op-
der an applied pressure thus avoiding the problem of tions) also may be closely controlled.
shape variations caused by non isotropic sintering
and distortions caused by gravity at high tempera-
tures. The most common of these technologies is hot
pressing, which has been under use for the produc-
tion of the diamond tools employed in the construc- 3 Powder production techniques
tion industry. Spark plasma sintering and electro
sinter forging are two modern, industrial commer- Any fusible material can be atomized. Several techniques
cial ECAS technologies. have been developed which permit large production rates
of powdered particles, often with considerable control
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a relatively novel over the size ranges of the nal grain population. Pow-
family of techniques which use metal powders ders may be prepared by crushing, grinding, chemical re-
(among other materials, such as plastics) to make actions, or electrolytic deposition.
parts by laser sintering or melting. This is a process
under rapid development as of 2015, and whether Powders of the elements titanium, vanadium, thorium,
to classify it as a PM process is perhaps uncertain at niobium, tantalum, calcium, and uranium have been pro-
this stage. Processes include 3D printing, selective duced by high-temperature reduction of the correspond-
laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM), ing nitrides and carbides. Iron, nickel, uranium, and
and electron beam melting (EBM) beryllium submicrometre powders are obtained by re-
ducing metallic oxalates and formates. Exceedingly ne
particles also have been prepared by directing a stream
of molten metal through a high-temperature plasma jet
2 History and capabilities or ame, atomizing the material. Various chemical and
ame associated powdering processes are adopted in part
The history of powder metallurgy and the art of metal to prevent serious degradation of particle surfaces by at-
and ceramic sintering are intimately related to each other. mospheric oxygen.
Sintering involves the production of a hard solid metal or
In tonnage terms, the production of iron powders for PM
ceramic piece from a starting powder. The ancient In-
structural part production dwarfs the production of all of
cas made jewelry and other artifacts from precious metal
the non-ferrous metal powders combined. Virtually all
powders, mass manufacturing of P/M products did not
iron powders are produced by one of two processes: the
begin until the mid- or late- 19th century.[3] In these
sponge iron process or water atomization.
early manufacturing operations, iron was extracted by
hand from metal sponge following reduction and was then
reintroduced as a powder for nal melting or sintering.
A much wider range of products can be obtained from 3.1 Sponge iron process
powder processes than from direct alloying of fused ma-
terials. In melting operations the "phase rule" applies to
all pure and combined elements and strictly dictates the The longest established of these processes is the sponge
iron process, the leading example of a family of processes
distribution of liquid and solid phases which can exist for
specic compositions. In addition, whole body melting involving solid state reduction of an oxide. In the pro-
cess, selected magnetite (Fe3 O4 ) ore is mixed with coke
of starting materials is required for alloying, thus impos-
ing unwelcome chemical, thermal, and containment con- and lime and placed in a silicon carbide retort. The lled
straints on manufacturing. Unfortunately, the handling of retort is then heated in a kiln, where the reduction pro-
aluminium/iron powders poses major problems.[4] Other cess leaves an iron cake and a slag. In subsequent steps,
substances that are especially reactive with atmospheric the retort is emptied, the reduced iron sponge is separated
oxygen, such as titanium, are sinterable in special atmo- from the slag and is crushed and annealed.
spheres or with temporary coatings.[5] The resultant powder is highly irregular in particle shape,
In powder metallurgy or ceramics it is possible to fab- therefore ensuring good green strength so that die-
ricate components which otherwise would decompose pressed compacts can be readily handled prior to sinter-
or disintegrate. All considerations of solid-liquid phase ing, and each particle contains internal pores (hence the
changes can be ignored, so powder processes are more term sponge) so that the good green strength is available
exible than casting, extrusion, or forging techniques. at low compacted density levels.
Controllable characteristics of products prepared us- Sponge iron provides the feedstock for all iron-based self-
ing various powder technologies include mechanical, lubricating bearings, and still accounts for around 30% of
magnetic,[6] and other unconventional properties of such iron powder usage in PM structural parts.
3.4 Other techniques 3

3.2 Atomization fuses, the rapid rod rotation throws o tiny melt droplets
which solidify before hitting the chamber walls. A cir-
Atomization is accomplished by forcing a molten metal culating gas sweeps particles from the chamber. Similar
stream through an orice at moderate pressures. A gas techniques could be employed in space or on the Moon.
is introduced into the metal stream just before it leaves The chamber wall could be rotated to force new powders
the nozzle, serving to create turbulence as the entrained into remote collection vessels,[7] and the electrode could
gas expands (due to heating) and exits into a large col- be replaced by a solar mirror focused at the end of the
lection volume exterior to the orice. The collection vol- rod.
ume is lled with gas to promote further turbulence of An alternative approach capable of producing a very nar-
the molten metal jet. Air and powder streams are segre- row distribution of grain sizes but with low throughput
gated using gravity or cyclonic separation. Most atomized consists of a rapidly spinning bowl heated to well above
powders are annealed, which helps reduce the oxide and the melting point of the material to be powdered. Liquid
carbon content. The water atomized particles are smaller, metal, introduced onto the surface of the basin near the
cleaner, and nonporous and have a greater breadth of size, center at ow rates adjusted to permit a thin metal lm to
which allows better compacting. The particles produced skim evenly up the walls and over the edge, breaks into
through this method are normally of spherical or pear droplets, each approximately the thickness of the lm.[8]
shape. Usually, they also carry a layer of oxide over them.
There are three types of atomization:
3.4 Other techniques
Liquid atomization
Another powder-production technique involves a thin jet
Gas atomization of liquid metal intersected by high-speed streams of at-
omized water which break the jet into drops and cool the
Centrifugal atomization powder before it reaches the bottom of the bin. In subse-
quent operations the powder is dried. This is called water
Simple atomization techniques are available in which liq- atomization. The advantage of water atomization is that
uid metal is forced through an orice at a suciently high metal solidies faster than by gas atomization since the
velocity to ensure turbulent ow. The usual performance heat capacity of water is some magnitudes higher than
index used is the Reynolds number R = fvd/n, where f = gases. Since the solidication rate is inversely propor-
uid density, v = velocity of the exit stream, d = diame- tional to the particle size, smaller particles can be made
ter of the opening, and n = absolute viscosity. At low R using water atomization. The smaller the particles, the
the liquid jet oscillates, but at higher velocities the stream more homogeneous the micro structure will be. Notice
becomes turbulent and breaks into droplets. Pumping en- that particles will have a more irregular shape and the
ergy is applied to droplet formation with very low e- particle size distribution will be wider. In addition, some
ciency (on the order of 1%) and control over the size dis- surface contamination can occur by oxidation skin for-
tribution of the metal particles produced is rather poor. mation. Powder can be reduced by some kind of pre-
Other techniques such as nozzle vibration, nozzle asym- consolidation treatment as annealing used for the manu-
metry, multiple impinging streams, or molten-metal in- facture of ceramic tools.
jection into ambient gas are all available to increase atom-
ization eciency, produce ner grains, and to narrow the
particle size distribution. Unfortunately, it is dicult to 4 Powder compaction
eject metals through orices smaller than a few millime-
ters in diameter, which in practice limits the minimum
size of powder grains to approximately 10 m. Atom-
ization also produces a wide spectrum of particle sizes,
necessitating downstream classication by screening and
remelting a signicant fraction of the grain boundary.

3.3 Centrifugal disintegration

Centrifugal disintegration of molten particles oers one


way around these problems. Extensive experience is
available with iron, steel, and aluminium. Metal to be Rhodium metal: powder, pressed pellet (3*105 psi), remelted
powdered is formed into a rod which is introduced into
a chamber through a rapidly rotating spindle. Opposite Powder compaction is the process of compacting metal
the spindle tip is an electrode from which an arc is es- powder in a die through the application of high pressures.
tablished which heats the metal rod. As the tip material Typically the tools are held in the vertical orientation with
4 4 POWDER COMPACTION

the punch tool forming the bottom of the cavity. The


powder is then compacted into a shape and then ejected
from the die cavity.[9] In a number of these applications
the parts may require very little additional work for their
intended use; making for very cost ecient manufactur-
ing.
The density of the compacted powder is directly propor-
tional to the amount of pressure applied. Typical pres-
sures range from 80 psi to 1000 psi (0.5 MPa to 7 MPa),
pressures from 1000 psi to 1,000,000 psi have been ob-
tained. Pressure of 10 tons/in to 50 tons/in (150 MPa
to 700 MPa) are commonly used for metal powder com-
paction. To attain the same compression ratio across a
component with more than one level or height, it is nec-
essary to work with multiple lower punches. A cylindrical
workpiece is made by single-level tooling. A more com-
plex shape can be made by the common multiple-level
tooling.
Production rates of 15 to 30 parts per minute are com-
mon.
There are four major classes of tool styles: single-action
compaction, used for thin, at components; opposed
double-action with two punch motions, which accom- Powder Compaction Press
modates thicker components; double-action with oating
die; and double action withdrawal die. Double action
classes give much better density distribution than single
action. Tooling must be designed so that it will with- 4. Removal of the compact from the upper face of the
stand the extreme pressure without deforming or bend- die using the ll shoe in the ll stage of the next cycle
ing. Tools must be made from materials that are polished or an automation system/robot.
and wear-resistant.
Better workpiece materials can be obtained by repressing
and re-sintering. Here is a table of some of the obtainable This cycle oers a readily automated and high production
properties. rate process.

4.1 Die pressing


4.2 Design considerations
The dominant technology for the forming of products
from powder materials, in terms of both tonnage quan-
Probably the most basic consideration is being able to
tities and numbers of parts produced, is die Press-
remove the part from the die after it is pressed, along
ing. There are mechanical, servo-electrical and hydraulic
with avoiding sharp corners in the design. Keeping the
presses available in the market, whereby the biggest pow-
maximum surface area below 20 square inches (0.013
der throughput is processed by hydraulic presses. This
m2 ) and the height-to-diameter ratio below 7-to-1 is rec-
forming technology involves a production cycle compris-
ommended. Along with having walls thicker than 0.08
ing:
inches (2.0 mm) and keeping the adjacent wall thickness
ratios below 2.5-to-1.
1. Filling a die cavity with a known volume of the pow-
One of the major advantages of this process is its ability
der feedstock, delivered from a ll shoe
to produce complex geometries. Parts with undercuts and
2. Compaction of the powder within the die with threads require a secondary machining operation. Typi-
2
punches to form the compact. Generally, com- cal part sizes range from 0.1 square inches (0.65 cm ) to
2
paction pressure is applied through punches from 20 square inches (130 cm ). in area and from 0.1 to 4
both ends of the toolset in order to reduce the level inches (0.25 to 10.16 cm) in length. However, it is pos-
of density gradient within the compact. sible to produce parts that are less than 0.1 square inches
(0.65 cm2 ) and larger than 25 square inches (160 cm2 ).
3. Ejection of the compact from the die, using the in area and from a fraction of an inch (2.54 cm) to ap-
lower punch(es) respectively withdrawal of the die proximately 8 inches (20 cm) in length.
5.2 Geometrical possibilities 5

4.3 Isostatic pressing to 40,000 pounds per square inch (100 to 280 MPa) for
metals.
In some pressing operations, such as hot isostatic press-
ing (HIP) compact formation and sintering occur simulta-
neously. This procedure, together with explosion-driven 5.2 Geometrical possibilities
compressive techniques, is used extensively in the pro-
duction of high-temperature and high-strength parts such Typical workpiece sizes range from 0.25 in (6.35 mm) to
as turbine blades for jet engines. In most applications of 0.75 in (19.05 mm) thick and 0.5 in (12.70 mm) to 10
powder metallurgy the compact is hot-pressed, heated to in (254 mm) long. It is possible to compact workpieces
a temperature above which the materials cannot remain that are between 0.0625 in (1.59 mm) and 5 in (127 mm)
work-hardened. Hot pressing lowers the pressures re- thick and 0.0625 in (1.59 mm) to 40 in (1,016 mm) long.
quired to reduce porosity and speeds welding and grain
deformation processes. It also permits better dimen-
sional control of the product, lessens sensitivity to physi- 5.3 Tool style
cal characteristics of starting materials, and allows pow-
der to be compressed to higher densities than with cold Isostatic tools are available in three styles, free mold (wet-
pressing, resulting in higher strength. Negative aspects bag), coarse mold(damp-bag), and xed mold (dry-bag).
of hot pressing include shorter die life, slower through- The free mold style is the traditional style of isostatic
put because of powder heating, and the frequent neces- compaction and is not generally used for high produc-
sity for protective atmospheres during forming and cool- tion work. In free mold tooling the mold is removed and
ing stages. lled outside the canister. Damp bag is where the mold
is located in the canister, yet lled outside. In xed mold
tooling, the mold is contained within the canister, which
facilitates automation of the process.
5 Isostatic powder compacting
Isostatic powder compacting is a mass-conserving shap- 5.4 Hot isostatic pressing
ing process. Fine metal particles are placed into a exi-
ble mould and then high gas or uid pressure is applied to Main article: Hot isostatic pressing
the mould. The resulting article is then sintered in a fur-
nace which increases the strength of the part by bonding
Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) compresses and sinters the
the metal particles. This manufacturing process produces
part simultaneously by applying heat ranging from 900
very little scrap metal and can be used to make many
F (480 C) to 2250 F (1230 C). Argon gas is the most
dierent shapes. The tolerances that this process can
common gas used in HIP because it is an inert gas, thus
achieve are very precise, ranging from +/- 0.008 inches
prevents chemical reactions during the operation.
(0.2 mm) for axial dimensions and +/- 0.020 inches (0.5
mm) for radial dimensions. This is the most ecient
type of powder compacting(the following subcategories
are also from this reference).[9] This operation is generally
5.5 Cold isostatic pressing
applicable on small production quantities, as it is more
Cold isostatic pressing (CIP) uses uid as a means of ap-
costly to run due to its slow operating speed and the need
plying pressure to the mold at room temperature. After
for expendable tooling.[10]
removal the part still needs to be sintered. It is the pro-
Compacting pressures range from 15,000 psi (100,000 cess by which uid medium especially liquid is preferred
kPa) to 40,000 psi (280,000 kPa) for most metals and ap- as a working medium. It is helpful in distributing pres-
proximately 2,000 psi (14,000 kPa) to 10,000 psi (69,000 sure uniformly over the compaction material contained in
kPa) for non-metals. The density of isostatic compacted a rubber bag.
parts is 5% to 10% higher than with other powder metal-
lurgy processes.
5.6 Design considerations
5.1 Equipment Advantages over standard powder compaction are the
possibility of thinner walls and larger workpieces. Height
There are many types of equipment used in isostatic pow- to diameter ratio has no limitation. No specic limi-
der compacting. There is the mold, which is exible, a tations exist in wall thickness variations, undercuts, re-
pressure mold that contains the mold, and the machine liefs, threads, and cross holes. No lubricants are need for
delivering the pressure. There are also devices to con- isostatic powder compaction. The minimum wall thick-
trol the amount of pressure and how long the pressure is ness is 0.05 inches (1.27 mm) and the product can have
held. The machines need to apply pressures from 15,000 a weight between 40 and 300 pounds (18 and 136 kg).
6 8 SHOCK (DYNAMIC) CONSOLIDATION

There is 25 to 45% shrinkage of the powder after com- pacted mass is introduced into a sintering furnace. An
pacting. even easier approach is to spray powder onto a moving
belt and sinter it without compression. However, good
methods for stripping cold-pressed materials from mov-
6 Sintering ing belts are hard to nd. One alternative that avoids
the belt-stripping diculty altogether is the manufacture
of metal sheets using opposed hydraulic rams, although
Main article: Sintering weakness lines across the sheet may arise during succes-
sive press operations.
Solid state sintering is the process of taking metal in the Powders can also be rolled to produce sheets. The pow-
form of a powder and placing it into a mold or die. Once dered metal is fed into a two-high rolling mill, and is com-
compacted into the mold the material is placed under a pacted into strip form at up to 100 feet per minute (0.5
high heat for a long period of time. Under heat, bonding m/s).[12] The strip is then sintered and subjected to an-
takes place between the porous aggregate particles and other rolling and further sintering. Rolling is commonly
once cooled the powder has bonded to form a solid piece. used to produce sheet metal for electrical and electronic
Sintering can be considered to proceed in three stages. components, as well as coins.[12] Considerable work also
During the rst, neck growth proceeds rapidly but pow- has been done on rolling multiple layers of dierent ma-
der particles remain discrete. During the second, most terials simultaneously into sheets.
densication occurs, the structure recrystallizes and par- Extrusion processes are of two general types. In one
ticles diuse into each other. During the third, isolated type, the powder is mixed with a binder or plasticizer
pores tend to become spheroidal and densication contin- at room temperature; in the other, the powder is ex-
ues at a much lower rate. The words solid state in solid truded at elevated temperatures without fortication. Ex-
state sintering simply refer to the state the material is in trusions with binders are used extensively in the prepa-
when it bonds, solid meaning the material was not turned ration of tungsten-carbide composites. Tubes, complex
molten to bond together as alloys are formed.[11] sections, and spiral drill shapes are manufactured in ex-
One recently developed technique for high-speed sinter- tended lengths and diameters varying from 0.5300 mil-
ing involves passing high electric current through a pow- limetres (0.02011.811 in). Hard metal wires of 0.1 mil-
der to preferentially heat the asperities. Most of the en- limetres (0.0039 in) diameter have been drawn from pow-
ergy serves to melt that portion of the compact where der stock. At the opposite extreme, large extrusions on a
migration is desirable for densication; comparatively lit- tonnage basis may be feasible.
tle energy is absorbed by the bulk materials and forming There appears to be no limitation to the variety of metals
machinery. Naturally, this technique is not applicable to and alloys that can be extruded, provided the tempera-
electrically insulating powders. tures and pressures involved are within the capabilities
To allow ecient stacking of product in the furnace dur- of die materials. Extrusion lengths may range from 3
ing sintering and prevent parts sticking together, many 30 m and diameters from 0.21 m. Modern presses are
manufacturers separate ware using ceramic powder sep- largely automatic and operate at high speeds (on the order
arator sheets. These sheets are available in various mate- of m/s).
rials such as alumina, zirconia, and magnesia. They are
also available in ne, medium, and coarse particle sizes.
By matching the material and particle size to the wares
being sintered, surface damage and contamination can be
reduced, while maximizing furnace loading per batch.

7 Continuous powder processing 8 Shock (dynamic) consolidation

The phrase continuous process should be used only to Shock consolidation, or dynamic consolidation, is an
describe modes of manufacturing which could be ex- experimental technique of consolidating powders using
tended indenitely in time. Normally, however, the term high pressure shock waves.[13][14] These are commonly
refers to processes whose products are much longer in one produced by impacting the workpiece with an explosively
physical dimension than in the other two. Compression, accelerated plate. Despite being researched for a long
rolling, and extrusion are the most common examples. time, the technique still has some problems in controla-
In a simple compression process, powder ows from a bility and uniformity. However, it oers some valuable
bin onto a two-walled channel and is repeatedly com- potential advantages. As an example, consolidation oc-
pressed vertically by a horizontally stationary punch. Af- curs so rapidly that metastable microstructures may be
ter stripping the compress from the conveyor, the com- retained.[15]
7

9 Electric current assisted sinter- bulk can pose special toxicological risks when in a nely
divided form.
ing
These techniques employ electric currents to drive or en-
hance sintering.[16] Through a combination of electric
12 See also
currents and mechanical pressure powders sinter more
rapidly thereby reducing the sintering time compared to Sintering
conventional thermal solutions. The techniques can be
Mechanical powder press
divided into two main categories: resistance sintering,
which incorporates spark plasma sintering and hot press- Spray forming
ing; and electric discharge sintering,[17] such as capacitor
discharge sintering or its derivative, electro sinter forging. Selective laser melting
Resistance sintering techniques are consolidation meth-
ods based on temperature, where heating of the mold and Selective laser sintering
of the powders is accomplished through electric currents, Spark plasma sintering
usually with a characteristic processing time of 15 to 30
minutes. On the other hand, electric discharge sinter- Electro sinter forging
ing methods rely on high-density currents (from 0.1 to 1
kA/mm^2) to directly sinter electrically conductive pow-
ders, with a characteristic time between tens of microsec- 13 References
onds to hundreds of milliseconds.
[1] DeGarmo, p. 461

10 Special products [2] EPMA PM data 2015

[3] DeGarmo, p. 460. Tweaked to make sense.


Many special products are possible with powder metal-
lurgy technology. A nonexhaustive list includes Al2 O3 [4] Sheasby, J. S. (Oct 1979). Powder Metallurgy of Iron-
whiskers coated with very thin oxide layers for improved Aluminum. Intern. J. Powder Metallurgy and Powder
Tech. 15 (4): 301305.
refractories; iron compacts with Al2 O3 coatings for im-
proved high-temperature creep strength; light bulb l- [5] Makhlouf, M. M.; Mould, A. M.; and Merchant, H. D.
aments made with powder technology; linings for fric- (July 1979). Sintering of Chemically Preconditioned Tin
tion brakes; metal glasses for high-strength lms and rib- Powder. Intern. J. Powder Metallurgy and Powder Tech.
bons; heat shields for spacecraft reentry into Earths at- 15 (3): 231237.
mosphere; electrical contacts for handling large current
[6] Khan, M. K. (April 1980). The Importance of Powder
ows; magnets; microwave ferrites; lters for gases; and
Particle Size and Flow Behavior in the Production of P/M
bearings which can be inltrated with lubricants.
Parts for Soft Magnetic Applications. Intern. J. Powder
Extremely thin lms and tiny spheres exhibit high Metallurgy and Powder Tech. 16 (2): 123130.
strength. One application of this observation is to coat
[7] DeGarmo, E. P. (1979). Materials and Processes in Man-
brittle materials in whisker form with a submicrometre
ufacturing (5th ed.). New York: Macmillan.
lm of much softer metal (e.g. cobalt-coated tungsten).
The surface strain of the thin layer places the harder metal [8] Jones, W. D. (1960). Fundamental Principles of Powder
under compression, so that when the entire composite is Metallurgy. London: Edward Arnold Ltd.
sintered the rupture strength increases markedly. With
this method, strengths on the order of 2.8 GPa versus 550 [9] Todd, Robert H., Allen, Dell K., Alting, Leo, Manufac-
turing Processes Reference Guide, 1st Edition, Industrial
MPa have been observed for, respectively, coated (25%
Press Inc., New York 1994, ISBN 0-8311-3049-0
cobalt) and uncoated tungsten carbides.
[10] PICKPM.COM: A Powder Metallurgy Information Re-
source
11 Hazards [11] F. Thummler and W. Thomma, The Sintering Process,
Metallurgical Reviews No. 115, June (1967).
The special materials and processes used in powder met-
allurgy can pose hazards to life and property. The high [12] Manufacturing Engineering and Technology fth edition
surface-area-to-volume ratio of the powders can increase [13] T. Vreeland, Jr., P. Kasiraj, Thomas J. Ahrens, and
their chemical reactivity in biological exposures (for ex- R.B. Schwartz (1983). Shock Consolidation of Poders--
ample, inhalation or ingestion), and increases the risk of Theory and Experiment. Proc. 1983 Materials Research
dust explosions. Materials considered relatively benign in Society Meeting.
8 15 EXTERNAL LINKS

[14] M.A. Meyers and S.L. Wang (1988). An Improved


Method for Shock Consolidation of Powders. Acta Met-
all. Vol. 36 No. 4, pp 925-936.

[15] Marius Vassiliou, C. G. Rhodes, M. R. Mitchell, and J.


A. Graves (1989), Metastable Microstructure in Dynam-
ically Consolidated g Titanium Aluminide, Scripta Met-
allurgica 23, 1791-1794.

[16] Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports : Con-


solidation/synthesis of materials by electric current acti-
vated/assisted sintering. ScienceDirect. Retrieved 2011-
09-30.

[17] Journal of Materials ScienceElectric pulse consolidation:


an alternative to spark plasma sintering. Springer. Re-
trieved 2014-10-23.

14 Further reading
An earlier version of this article was copied from
Appendix 4C of Advanced Automation for Space
Missions, a NASA report in the public domain.
R. M. German, Powder Metallurgy and Particu-
late Materials Processing, Metal Powder Industries
Federation, Princeton, New Jersey, 2005.

F. Thummler and R.Oberacker An Introduction to


Powder Metallurgy The institute of Materials, Lon-
don 1993
G. S. Upadhyaya, Sintered Metallic and Ceramic
Materials John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, Eng-
land, 2000

15 External links
Rapid manufacturing technique developed at the KU
Leuven, Belgium

Slow motion video images of metal atomization at


the Ames Laboratory
9

16 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


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