Powder metallurgy is an umbrella term that covers a number of processes used for manufacturing metallic components from metal powders. The main processes include:
- Press and Sinter
- Additive manufacturing
- Metal injection molding
- Hot/Cold Isostatic pressing
Common to all powder metallurgy processes are the use of metal powders, hence powder characteristics such as particle size, particle shape, material structure and surface condition are critical parameters. Particle size distribution and shape are of particular importance since they influence powder flow characteristics and powder packing, which are critical for processing and achieving the required the strength and density in the green body and sintered component.
Microstructure is also important in terms of crystal structure and elemental composition of the metal or alloy powders which impact sintering behavior and hardness of powders, and also the chemical and physical properties of the final components, including presence of residual stresses. For processes such as metal Injection molding where the feedstock material is a dispersion of powder in a polymer/wax matrix, the rheological properties of the feedstock become critical and are influenced by a number of factors including particle size, shape and concentration, as well as binder properties such as molecular weight and molecular structure.
For more information about Malvern Panalytical solutions for powder metallurgy and metal additive manufacturing, download our powder metallurgy brochure.