Powder metallurgy, the production of a solid object from a fine metal powder, is a versatile method for creating a wide range of metal components to a variety of different specifications. Both particle size and particle size distribution are crucial for this process, since together they influence how the powder flows, the compaction behavior within a die and the porosity of the final product.  For the majority of processors, laser diffraction is the technique chosen to fulfil the associated requirement for particle size data. In this article, we examine how particle size defines the behavior of metal powders and consider the merits of laser diffraction analysis within this.

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