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