Why is material characterization important?
Like other powder metallurgy processes, the properties of the metal powder used in isostatic pressing will affect the final sintered component’s properties. For this reason, these properties should be carefully characterized to ensure optimum final component properties.
For example, spherical powders with a relatively wide but consistent particle size distribution are preferred for HIP because they produce higher fill densities. For CIP, some particle irregularity may help increase cold-welding, ideally without compromising powder flow and packing.
Phase composition and grain size are also important characteristics to control, because they can affect powder hardness and melt properties. These, in turn, affect not only pressing efficiency and sintering behavior but also the mechanical properties of the pressed part. Finally, the powder used must also comply with the alloy composition of the material specified.
How can Malvern Panalytical’s solutions help?
To enable manufacturers to control these characteristics, Malvern Panalytical offers several characterization solutions for isostatic pressing. They can be used to:
- Predict and control packing density and minimize void formation in the sintered part
- Specify and control metal powder quality – including particle size, shape, and elemental composition
- Optimize powder flow in the mold and maintain process efficiency
- Ensure pressed parts have the appropriate composition and grain structure, and are free from residual stresses