Near Net Shape (NNS) manufacturing describes a range of manufacturing techniques including additive manufacturing and metal injection molding which are used to directly produce parts that are close to the desired net size and shape. As this reduces the post-process machining and grinding required to produce the final part, the use of NNS can enable production costs to be cut by up to two thirds in some industries.
Characterizing the physical and structural properties of metal powders used in NNS manufacturing processes such as Cold Isostatic Pressing (CIP) is important for assessing their suitability for a particular process route or end use application. Key characteristics include composition (chemical and phase), particle size distribution, particle shape, surface condition and microstructure, which impact powder properties such as packing, flowability, compressibility and sintering behavior. By better understanding the relationship between particle characteristics, bulk powder properties and process factors in relation to final product performance, it should be possible to develop a more robust and optimal set of design and manufacturing rules to give the required part consistency and quality.
In this webinar we present the results of a study in which X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence were used together with other analytical techniques such as hardness testing, particle size and morphological analysis to investigate how the physical properties of several iron-based alloy powders, produced using different manufacturing methods, influence performance in a CIP process.