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