Source: www.substech.


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

base structural

high temperature

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).

Powder preparation
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

D . which move in a rotating drum and crush the metal pieces into fine particles. The most widely used communition machine is ball mill.substech. N = O. Maximum grinding effect is achieved at optimal rotation speed of the mill (N). NITK Surathkal .acceleration due to gravity. involving breaking solid This method is generally applied for the preparation of powders of brittle materials. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. hummer).Source: www. Dept. IfN> Water atomization Pump Powder Comminution Comminution is a mechanical method of powder preparation particles in mills (ball. utilizing the energy of steel steel balls. vibratory. of MME.substech.drum diameter.8*Ncr Ncr may be determined from the expression: Ncr = (g/2D)1I2/n (revolutions per second) where: g .8*Ncr then the balls "stick" to the drum wall and no grinding ocurrs.

Die (uniaxial) pressing is effectively used for mass production of simple parts (alternative method is isostatic pressing). Size distribution (relative quantities of different size fractions). porous (reduced oxides).Particle may be spherical (gas atomization).Source: www. Flowability. which was freely (without pressing or tapping) poured into the container. Powder may be also prepared by electrolytic deposition of a metal at the cathode followed by mechanical crushing of the deposited material. Apparent density is a function of porosity of the particles. IfN = O. • • 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. 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 size. regularity of their shapes and variety of their sizes.6-0.substech. The grinding effect in this case is low (only rubbing). of If N<O. dendrite like (electrolytic deposition). NITK Surathkal . irregularly shaped (water atomization).the mass of a unite volume of the powder. This method is used for fabrication of copper powders.6*Ncr then the balls roll without to which the powder compacts as a function of the applied pressure. These methods are called chemical powder preparation methods. The scheme of the die pressing method is presented in the picture: Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Powder characteristics • • • • Particle shape.ability of the powder to flow through a calibrated orifice. Dept. Apparent density. Compressibility.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.

000 psi (69 MPa to 830 MPa).unsintered powder compact). At this stage a controlled amount of the powder is fed into the die Die fiU stage r Compactiom Upper punch t The pressing process consists of the following stages: • Die filling.substech. The pressure varies between 10. "Green" compact part ejection and removal ("green" compact. Dept.000 psi to 120. of MME. Compaction. Upper punch moves down and presses the powder with a predetermined pressure.Source: www. • • Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. NITK Surathkal .

which is conducted at room temperature is called cold The pressing cycle repeats 400 to 5000 times/hour. of MME. powder filling properties and the part size and geometry. Cold isostatic pressing (CIP) is conducted at room temperature. NITK Surathkal . Die pressing. com There are two types of cold isostatic pressing: wet bag and dry bag.substech.ostadc pressing -- Pressurization source WVv'W. 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. Hydraulic and mechanical presses with load up to 750 tons are used for the powder die pressmg. substech.Source: www. 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. This method is suitable for compaction of large and complicated parts. Hot pressing permits obtaining better compaction. Dept. In the wet bag method the mold is removed and refilled after each pressure cycle. depending on the press type. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. higher green compact density and higher (than in cold pressing) strength of the part. If the pressing process is conducted at increased temperature it is called hot pressing.

healing voids and pores. Cans made of stainless steel. diminish or even close up. produced by the hot isostatic method (HIP).substech. when the material of the separate particles diffuse to the neighboring powder particles. or mild steel are used in the method. Hot isostatic method (HIP) combines pressing and sintering. which are applied in the hot isostatic pressing method. The cold isostatic pressing (CIP) method has the following advantages as compared to the die cold pressing method: • • better uniformity of compaction. The sintered (but still porous) part is then pressed isostatically at high temperature without any can (mold). As a pressure medium a gas (Nitrogen or Argon) is used. In this case the part is first compacted by cold isostatic pressing method. improvement of its mechanical properties. causing consolidation of powder particles. of MME. resulting in densification of the part. more complex forms (for example long thin-walled tubes) may be compacted. Dept. are commonly between 15. taking place in the green compact.000 psi to 44. During the diffusion process the In the dry bag method the mold is an integral part of the vessel. Titanium alloys. forming sound high strength structure. super-alloys. The work pressures. The part shrinks and densifies.Source: www. high speed steels. The dry bag method is used for compaction of simpler and smaller parts. NITK Surathkal . Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) involves isostatic pressing conducted at increased temperature. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. The method may be used without a mold.000 psi (100 MPa to 300 MPa). 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. and then it is sintered in order to close the interconnecting porosity.

substech. Sintering zone. where the diffusion occurs. having the melting point lower. Continuous belt furnaces are commonly used for the sintering process.corn particles Decrease of the porosity. 2. reducing atmosphere (containing Hydrogen or carbon monoxide) or in vacuum. Sintering process may be conducted in different atmospheres: air. is determined by the level of the initial porosity of the green compact. sintering temperature and time. than the melting point of the base metal (for example in copper-lead-tin bearing alloys). Preheating zone for removing lubricant and other organic materials. All commercially used metals may be sintered. This occurs when the powder contains a component. of MME. where the sintered parts cool down. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. caused by the sintering process. 3. Sintering is enhanced if a liquid phase takes part in the process.substech. Cooling zone. In this machine a mesh belt conveyor moves the parts through a long tube like furnace. Dept. www. hot die pressing).Source: www. NITK Surathkal .com Siatering 'owder Pores. Sintering occurs simultaneously with pressing in the hot pressing processes (hot isostatic pressing. inert atmosphere. Typical sintering furnace has three zones: 1.

substech. which may be cut into pieces of required length. thermocouple components. fine china.' JE XItTUSIOn Dir. Slip casting is used for manufacturing parts.eet e:xtrllJJsion. gypsum). consisting of ceramic powders. Dept. Ram Container www.a stable suspension. resulting in a long product (rods. consolidating the ceramic part. of Extrusion The two possible schemes of extrusion are presented in the picture: .substech. sinks.Source: www. which is capable to soak the liquid from the slurry. Slip Casting Slip casting technique is used for shape forming ceramic slurry . pipes) of regular cross-section. NITK Surathkal . heat exchanger tubes. thermal insulation Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. The slurry is poured into a mold made of a micro-porous material (e. long plates. Extrusion is used for manufacturing furnace tubes. sanitary ware. bars.g. processing additives and 20-35% ofliquid (water or solvent).com Extrusion ram forces the ceramic paste through a die.

The process is economical and it is used for manufacturing large complex shapes parts such as turbine rotors. the monomer polymerizes.Source: www. which may be stripped from the supporting surface. When the slurry is poured into a mold. Tape Casting Tape Casting is a process of forming a thin film of ceramic slurry spread over a flat surface. containing in the slurry. resulting in formation of ceramic sheet. Dept. The method is similar to the injection molding of polymers. The solvent. The parts may be machined before firing. The slurry film thickness is controlled by a knife edge located above the moving carrier surface. evaporates. The principal scheme of the injection molding method is shown in the picture: Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. forming a gel that binds ceramic powder particles into a strong complex-shaped Gel Casting Gel Casting is a process of shape forming slurry prepared from ceramic powder mixed with a solution of organic monomer. NITK Surathkal .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. Tape Casting is used for manufacturing insulators. of MME.

Source: www. 5.40% of a binder. Injection of the warm powder with molten binder into the mold by means of the screw. 4.substeeh. nickel alloys.the binder is dissolved by a solvent or by water. Debinding. There are two debinding methods: a.removal of the binder. Mixing the metal powder with 30% .substech. Removal of the part from the mold after cooling down of the mixture. tungsten and molybdenum.10-20 min. This shrinkage is taken into account in the mold The processing technology comprises the following stages: 1. Sintering the "green" compact at a temperature close (but below) to the melting point. Thermal debinding. Dept. The molding cycle in the injection molding method is about 10 sec. Solvent debinding. of (ajieetiofl molding Powder Nozzle www. b.low melt polymer. Metal injection molding method (MIM) is widely used for manufacturing small parts having complex shapes.the binder is heated above the volatilization temperature. 2. The method permits to produce part with close tolerance. 3. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. due to the consistent shrinkage. stainless steels. Metal injection molding method (MIM) is involved in processing carbon steels. than the molding time in the alternative methods. NITK Surathkal . which much less.

www. Spark Plasma Si. The particles surfaces are purified and activated due to the high temperature causing vaporization of the impurities concentrated on the particle surface. Since the micro-plasma discharges form uniformly throughout the sample volume the generated heat is also uniformly distributed.iscba. Plasma heating.substech. Dept.rge EI!eetrl. of MME. NITK Surathkal . The purified surface layers of the particles melt and fuse to each other forming "necks" between the particles. The electrical discharge between powder particles results in localized and momentary heating of the particles surfaces up to several thousands ° 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.substech.tering -(SPS) mechanism Plasma h~atin~Jou~c heating r~a.e~d ClijJr~ent . 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.sma 'I1. Compiled by Ankush N 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.Source: www.. The spark plasma sintering process proceeds through three stages: 1. . However commercially the name SPS (spark plasma sintering) is more common. 2. The joule heat increases the diffusion of the atoms/molecules in the necks enhancing their growth.. Joule heating. The mechanical scheme of the process is similar to the Uniaxial (Die) Pressing.=.----1---.ra... The pulsed DC power supply is connected to the upper and lower punches/electrodes. NITK Surathkal .Source: www.. The load (commonly up to 15000 psillOO MPa) is transferred to the powder through the upper punch. Dept. The joule heat is generated by the electrical current. Plastic deformation. I I I I I I I I 1 ='='='='1 I I I :rowde~' l _ .com Compiled by Ankush N Nayak.. I I I I --.jtte dle www..11. Plastic deformation combined with diffusion result in the densification of the powder compact to over 99% of its theoretical density.... Spark Plasma Sintterjjng (SPS) G. which diminish coarsening (growth) of the material grains. The heated material becomes softer and it exerts plastic deformation under the uniaxial force..====.-. of MME. At this stage the pulsed DC electrical current flows from particle to particle through the necks connecting them. Spark plasma sintering technique Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is performed in a Graphite die.r Grap~.. 3. Iltl-'h pIJJL(·~~ .I Vaeuam c!!te •.substech. Localized character of heating and its uniform distribution allow rapid temperature rise and drop.

substech. DC pulse time: few to tens of ms. High energy efficiency. the average (monitored) temperature of the compact is relatively low: few hundred A °C lower than in conventional sintering process. Since only surface layers of the powder particles are heated in the spark plasma sintering process. Its overall duration is commonly 5-20 minutes. Advantages of spark plasma sintering: • • • • • • • • • Fast sintering process. Compiled by Ankush N Nayak. Low grain growth (nano-grain materials may be prepared). Ceramics. Better purification and activation of the powder particles surfaces. Expensive pulsed DC generator is required. Uniform sintering. NITK Surathkal . Different materials (Metals. Easy operation. Spark plasma sintering process is fast. DC pause time: few to tens of ms. of The pulsed DC electrical current parameters: • • • • Voltage: few volts. Disadvantages of spark plasma sintering: • • Only simple symmetrical shapes may be prepared. Compaction and sintering stages are combined in one operation. Binders are not necessary. Dept. The process is conducted under either low pressure (vacuum) or inert gas atmosphere. composites) may be processed. Current: several thousands amperes.Source: www.

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