A Brief Overview of Metal Powder and Its Vital Characteristics

July 8, 2021

There are a lot of processes that can be used to create durable and long-lasting parts and products. Aside from various processes, a wide array of materials is also available to generate these things.

But one process that has been gaining popularity for the past few years is known as the powder metallurgy process. This specific process entails the use of metal powders to create different parts and products. With metal powders, the yield losses in manufacture are expected to be reduced significantly. They can also help produce parts and products without spending a lot of money.

Understanding Metal Powders

Metal powders are metals that have been divided or powdered, boasting particle sizes between 5 to 200 ┬Ám. Some notable material sources of metal powders include aluminium, bronze, chromium, cobalt, iron, and silicon. These materials are deemed to be very helpful in generating products that are used for chemical processes, magnetic composites, surface coatings, welding, and others.

There are four types of metal powders that one can choose from. One of these types is atomised. Atomised metal powders are created by detaching molten metal into minuscule droplets and freezing them to make them solid. Another type of metal powders is blended. Blended metal powders are metal powders that have been crystallised atomically. The crystallisation process then generates a compound that provides metal powder with reputable strength.

Two other types of metal powders are milled and precipitated. Milled raw metal materials are metal powders that are processed by milling machines. Precipitated metal powders, ultimately, are generated out of electrolysis and are often made from copper and magnesium. They have accurate particle sizes and respectable purity levels.

Metal Powders Characteristics

When determining the perfect metal powders for specific applications, there are certain characteristics that must be considered. Some of these characteristics are as follows:

  • Apparent Density: Somehow related to particle size, apparent density is determined as the overall density of the metal powders that exclude open pores. It is often defined as the ratio of volume to weight of the metal powder mixture.
  • Particle size: The particle size of metal powders can affect their control of porosity, compressibility, and amount of shrinkage. With the right particle size, sintered parts and products are expected to have a uniform and smooth spread of materials.
  • Particle shape: The particle shape of metal powders, alternatively, is determined by the method of their creation. Some examples of particle shape of metal powders include special nodular, irregular, angular, and dendritic. This characteristic directly affects the flow quality of metal powders. Metal powders that come in spherical shape can be processed more efficiently.
  • Porosity: The overall strength of sintered parts and products can be influenced by the porosity of the metal powders. Some applications require a high level of porosity to effectively maintain the mechanical strength of final parts and products.

To know more about metal powders and sintered products, feel free to reach us at PM Distributors.

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