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Powder metallurgy - introduction
Powder metallurgy involves powders for manufacturing metal parts. Powder metallurgy comprises the following general stages: • • • Powder preparation; Pressing (compacting) to obtain the desired shape; Sintering the pressed parts.
Powder metallurgy allows reducing machining operation due to forming parts with minimum tolerances. Powder metallurgy permits manufacture of materials, which can not be produced any other technologies: refractory materials, hard materials, wear resistant materials, permanent magnets, porous metals, mixtures of dissimilar metals, possessing different melting points or insoluble in liquid state, various combinations of mixtures of metals with non-metals. Powder metallurgy is used in the following industries: • • • • • • automotive (brake pads, gear parts, connecting engine bearings); aerospace (light weight composite materials); aluminum rods, planetary earners, materials, sintered
cutting tools (hard metals, diamond containing materials); medicine (dental implants, surgical instruments); abrasives (grinding and polishing wheels and discs); electrical, electronic and computer parts (permanent magnets, electrical contacts).
The following powder preparation methods are used: Atomization Atomization is one of the most effective industrial powder preparation methods. This method involves disintegration (atomizing) of liquid metal by means of high speed medium (air, inert gas, water) striking the melt streaming through a nozzle. • • • • • • The molten alloy is prepared in a furnace and then it is transferred to the tundish. The melt is poured from the tundish through the nozzle into the chamber. The water (air, gas) jets break the melt stream into fine droplets. The droplets solidify when they fall in the chamber. The powder is collected at the bottom of the chamber. The powder is removed from the chamber and dried (if necessary).
Compiled by Ankush N Nayak, Dept. of MME, NITK Surathkal
hummer). Compiled by Ankush N Nayak.drum diameter.6-0.com Water atomization Pump Powder www. NITK Surathkal . utilizing the energy of steel steel balls.8*Ncr Ncr may be determined from the expression: Ncr = (g/2D)1I2/n (revolutions per second) where: g . D . IfN>O.Source: www. which move in a rotating drum and crush the metal pieces into fine particles. N = O. vibratory.acceleration due to gravity. involving breaking solid This method is generally applied for the preparation of powders of brittle materials. The most widely used communition machine is ball mill.8*Ncr then the balls "stick" to the drum wall and no grinding ocurrs.substech. Maximum grinding effect is achieved at optimal rotation speed of the mill (N).substech. of MME. Dept.com Comminution Comminution is a mechanical method of powder preparation particles in mills (ball.
IfN = O.6-0. NITK Surathkal .8*Ncr then the balls go up together with the rotating drum and then fall down and roll providing grinding by combined action of strike and rubbing.Source: www. irregularly shaped (water atomization). Powder may be also prepared by electrolytic deposition of a metal at the cathode followed by mechanical crushing of the deposited material.Particle may be spherical (gas atomization). These methods are called chemical powder preparation methods.com If N<O. This method is used for fabrication of copper powders. Compressibility. The scheme of the die pressing method is presented in the picture: Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. which was freely (without pressing or tapping) poured into the container. Dept. Particle size.6*Ncr then the balls roll without falling. Apparent density is a function of porosity of the particles. regularity of their shapes and variety of their sizes. of MME. Die (uniaxial) pressing is effectively used for mass production of simple parts (alternative method is isostatic pressing).substech.the mass of a unite volume of the powder. dendrite like (electrolytic deposition). porous (reduced oxides). Chemical methods Metal powders may be prepared by reduction of the metal oxides (carbides) followed by mechanical crushing or precipitation of metals from solution (hydrometallurgical method). Powder characteristics • • • • Particle shape. Size distribution (relative quantities of different size fractions).degree to which the powder compacts as a function of the applied pressure.ability of the powder to flow through a calibrated orifice. • • Die pressing of metallic powders Die pressing (molding) is the powder compaction method involving uniaxial pressure applied to the powder placed in a die between two rigid punches. The grinding effect in this case is low (only rubbing). Apparent density. Flowability.
At this stage a controlled amount of the powder is fed into the die cavity. • • Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Dept.000 psi (69 MPa to 830 MPa). Compaction.unsintered powder compact).com Die fiU stage r Compactiom Upper punch t The pressing process consists of the following stages: • Die filling.Source: www. "Green" compact part ejection and removal ("green" compact.000 psi to 120. The pressure varies between 10.substech. Upper punch moves down and presses the powder with a predetermined pressure. NITK Surathkal . of MME.
of MME. If the pressing process is conducted at increased temperature it is called hot pressing. In the wet bag method the mold is removed and refilled after each pressure cycle. Hot pressing permits obtaining better compaction. This method is suitable for compaction of large and complicated parts. substech. Isostatic pressing of metallic powders Isostatic pressing is the powder compaction method involving applying pressure from multiple directions through a liquid or gaseous medium surrounding the compacted part.substech. powder filling properties and the part size and geometry. which is conducted at room temperature is called cold pressing. Cold isostatic pressing (CIP) is conducted at room temperature. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Dept.ostadc pressing -- Pressurization source WVv'W. higher green compact density and higher (than in cold pressing) strength of the part. A flexible (commonly polyurethane) mold immersed in a pressurized liquid medium (commonly water) is used in the cold isostatic pressing method (see the scheme below): Cold h. depending on the press type. Die pressing.com The pressing cycle repeats 400 to 5000 times/hour. NITK Surathkal . Hydraulic and mechanical presses with load up to 750 tons are used for the powder die pressmg.Source: www. com There are two types of cold isostatic pressing: wet bag and dry bag.
As a pressure medium a gas (Nitrogen or Argon) is used. In this case the part is first compacted by cold isostatic pressing method. The part shrinks and densifies. forming sound high strength structure. healing voids and pores. resulting in densification of the part. The method may be used without a mold. Dept. The cold isostatic pressing (CIP) method has the following advantages as compared to the die cold pressing method: • • better uniformity of compaction. which are applied in the hot isostatic pressing method. super-alloys. Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) involves isostatic pressing conducted at increased temperature.000 psi (100 MPa to 300 MPa). NITK Surathkal . During the diffusion process the pores. The sintered (but still porous) part is then pressed isostatically at high temperature without any can (mold). are commonly between 15.Source: www. when the material of the separate particles diffuse to the neighboring powder particles. and then it is sintered in order to close the interconnecting porosity. hard alloys and vanous ceramics are Sintering of metals Sintering is a method involving consolidation of powder grains by heating the green compact part to a high temperature below the melting point.substech. of MME. or mild steel are used in the method.000 psi to 44.com In the dry bag method the mold is an integral part of the vessel. The work pressures. high speed steels. produced by the hot isostatic method (HIP). Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Titanium alloys. causing consolidation of powder particles. improvement of its mechanical properties. more complex forms (for example long thin-walled tubes) may be compacted. Cans made of stainless steel. The dry bag method is used for compaction of simpler and smaller parts. Hot isostatic method (HIP) combines pressing and sintering. diminish or even close up. taking place in the green compact.
substech. NITK Surathkal .com Siatering 'owder Pores. www. reducing atmosphere (containing Hydrogen or carbon monoxide) or in vacuum. having the melting point lower. Dept. than the melting point of the base metal (for example in copper-lead-tin bearing alloys). Sintering occurs simultaneously with pressing in the hot pressing processes (hot isostatic pressing. Sintering zone. is determined by the level of the initial porosity of the green compact.Source: www. Typical sintering furnace has three zones: 1. caused by the sintering process. This occurs when the powder contains a component. Continuous belt furnaces are commonly used for the sintering process. Cooling zone. sintering temperature and time. of MME. inert atmosphere. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Preheating zone for removing lubricant and other organic materials.substech. where the diffusion occurs. where the sintered parts cool down. hot die pressing).corn particles Decrease of the porosity. 3. All commercially used metals may be sintered. In this machine a mesh belt conveyor moves the parts through a long tube like furnace. Sintering process may be conducted in different atmospheres: air. Sintering is enhanced if a liquid phase takes part in the process. 2.
com Extrusion The two possible schemes of extrusion are presented in the picture: . gypsum). Ram Container www. thermocouple components. consolidating the ceramic part. pipes) of regular cross-section. bars. consisting of ceramic powders. Slip casting is used for manufacturing parts.g.substech. heat exchanger tubes. NITK Surathkal . Dept.eet e:xtrllJJsion. fine china. Extrusion is used for manufacturing furnace tubes.substech. of MME. resulting in a long product (rods. sinks.Source: www. sanitary ware. processing additives and 20-35% ofliquid (water or solvent). which is capable to soak the liquid from the slurry. thermal insulation Compiled by Ankush N Nayak.' JE XItTUSIOn Dir. The slurry is poured into a mold made of a micro-porous material (e. long plates.a stable suspension. Slip Casting Slip casting technique is used for shape forming ceramic slurry . which may be cut into pieces of required length.com Extrusion ram forces the ceramic paste through a die.
NITK Surathkal . of MME. When the slurry is poured into a mold. The slurry film thickness is controlled by a knife edge located above the moving carrier surface. Tape Casting is used for manufacturing insulators. Tape Casting Tape Casting is a process of forming a thin film of ceramic slurry spread over a flat surface.com Gel Casting Gel Casting is a process of shape forming slurry prepared from ceramic powder mixed with a solution of organic monomer.substech. The principal scheme of the injection molding method is shown in the picture: Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Dept. The parts may be machined before firing. containing in the slurry. evaporates. forming a gel that binds ceramic powder particles into a strong complex-shaped part. which may be stripped from the supporting surface. multilayer ceramics for capacitors and dielectric Metal injection molding Metal injection molding (MIM) is a method of compaction of a metal powder fed and injected into a mold cavity by means of a screw rotating in cylinder. The method is similar to the injection molding of polymers. The process is economical and it is used for manufacturing large complex shapes parts such as turbine rotors. The solvent. the monomer polymerizes. resulting in formation of ceramic sheet.Source: www.
substech.40% of a binder. than the molding time in the alternative methods.10-20 min. nickel alloys.substeeh. The molding cycle in the injection molding method is about 10 sec.Source: www. 3. Mixing the metal powder with 30% . There are two debinding methods: a. Injection of the warm powder with molten binder into the mold by means of the screw. b. due to the consistent shrinkage. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak.low melt polymer. The method permits to produce part with close tolerance. Metal injection molding method (MIM) is widely used for manufacturing small parts having complex shapes. 2.com (ajieetiofl molding Powder Nozzle www. Debinding. NITK Surathkal .com The processing technology comprises the following stages: 1.removal of the binder. Solvent debinding. which much less. Removal of the part from the mold after cooling down of the mixture.the binder is heated above the volatilization temperature. Dept. This shrinkage is taken into account in the mold design. tungsten and molybdenum. Thermal debinding. of MME. stainless steels.the binder is dissolved by a solvent or by water. 4. Sintering the "green" compact at a temperature close (but below) to the melting point. Metal injection molding method (MIM) is involved in processing carbon steels. 5.
com Spark plasma sintering Spark plasma sintering (SPS) or pulsed electric current sintering (PECS) is a sintering technique utilizing uniaxial force and a pulsed (on-off) direct electrical current (DC) under low atmospheric pressure to perform high speed consolidation of the powder. Dept..iscba. of MME.com The most accepted mechanism of the pulsed electric current sintering (PECS)is based on the micro-spark discharge in the gap between neighboring powder particles. Since the micro-plasma discharges form uniformly throughout the sample volume the generated heat is also uniformly distributed. The electrical discharge between powder particles results in localized and momentary heating of the particles surfaces up to several thousands °C. Plasma heating. The purified surface layers of the particles melt and fuse to each other forming "necks" between the particles. .tering -(SPS) mechanism Plasma h~atin~Jou~c heating r~a.e~d ClijJr~ent . www. However commercially the name SPS (spark plasma sintering) is more common.Source: www.rge EI!eetrl. Spark Plasma Si.substech. NITK Surathkal .sma 'I1. The particles surfaces are purified and activated due to the high temperature causing vaporization of the impurities concentrated on the particle surface. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Spark plasma sintering mechanism The mechanism of the spark plasma sintering is still unclear therefore the process name pulsed electric current sintering (PECS) should be considered as more correct.substech. The spark plasma sintering process proceeds through three stages: 1.
I Vaeuam c!hamIM~..----1---.bl!te •.. The mechanical scheme of the process is similar to the Uniaxial (Die) Pressing.11.. I I I I I I I I 1 ='='='='1 I I I :rowde~' l _ .. of MME. Joule heating.. Plastic deformation combined with diffusion result in the densification of the powder compact to over 99% of its theoretical density.com 2.substech. which diminish coarsening (growth) of the material grains. The joule heat is generated by the electrical current.. Localized character of heating and its uniform distribution allow rapid temperature rise and drop.com Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Spark plasma sintering technique Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is performed in a Graphite die..Source: www. The heated material becomes softer and it exerts plastic deformation under the uniaxial force.jtte dle www. The pulsed DC power supply is connected to the upper and lower punches/electrodes. At this stage the pulsed DC electrical current flows from particle to particle through the necks connecting them. The joule heat increases the diffusion of the atoms/molecules in the necks enhancing their growth...snbstech.ra.====. Spark Plasma Sintterjjng (SPS) G.. Plastic deformation. 3.=. Dept. The load (commonly up to 15000 psillOO MPa) is transferred to the powder through the upper punch.r Grap~..-. I I I I --. NITK Surathkal . Iltl-'h pIJJL(·~~ .
Advantages of spark plasma sintering: • • • • • • • • • Fast sintering process. Its overall duration is commonly 5-20 minutes.Source: www. Spark plasma sintering process is fast. NITK Surathkal . Uniform sintering. Expensive pulsed DC generator is required. DC pause time: few to tens of ms. Compaction and sintering stages are combined in one operation. High energy efficiency. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Dept. Disadvantages of spark plasma sintering: • • Only simple symmetrical shapes may be prepared. Since only surface layers of the powder particles are heated in the spark plasma sintering process. Better purification and activation of the powder particles surfaces. composites) may be processed. The process is conducted under either low pressure (vacuum) or inert gas atmosphere. DC pulse time: few to tens of ms. Different materials (Metals. Current: several thousands amperes. Binders are not necessary.substech. Low grain growth (nano-grain materials may be prepared). Easy operation. of MME. Ceramics.com The pulsed DC electrical current parameters: • • • • Voltage: few volts. the average (monitored) temperature of the compact is relatively low: few hundred A °C lower than in conventional sintering process.
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