Advantages of Powder Metallurgy over Conventional Metal Fabrication Techniques

December 11, 2017

Prepare for a battle. The headliners at the event enter. Conventional metal fabrication techniques come out first, and powder metallurgy technology is close behind. Okay, this is a colourful metaphor, but it accurately reflects the contest we’re attempting to illustrate. Specifically, several advantages come quickly to mind when powder metallurgy is put up against those methods that are employed in a standard machine shop setting. Let’s talk about work stress.

Cold Worked Stress 

Powder metallurgical techniques create dimensionally accurate products out of powdery metal deposits. The heat and pressure used in the sintering equipment instantly compress a hot component into existence. Metal fabrication methods use form manipulating tools and subtractive mechanisms to construct a similar part. Unfortunately, in order to accomplish that goal, the metal materials are tortured. They’re bent and cut, punched and drilled. Sure, that image may seem ridiculous, but metal components really are susceptible to stress. The energy applied by the fabrication machinery weakens the metal, attenuates its ductile properties, and damages the metal grain. The only way to correct this problem is to pass the damaged workpiece through a grain-restorative heat treatment furnace.

Introducing Managed Porosity 

The net-shape forming technique is a hallmark feature, there’s no doubt about that at all. What about the ability to form a porous metal part? Powder metallurgy doesn’t skimp on this invaluable feature. Hollow substructures enter industrial applications as filtration solutions. If a material is added to those tiny voids, then the seemingly solid construct gains a second set of properties. Waxes and oils add self-lubricating power to sintered metals. Softer materials gain metallic and magnetic strength when those open pores are injected with a magnetically active component.

Exhibits Moulded Attributes 

Like the geometrically precise plastic and metal parts that are ejected from their moulded equipment platforms, the parts fabricated on a powder metallurgical processing line favour dimensionally accurate outlines. Don’t make the mistake of believing an advanced machine fabrication shop pops out crudely processed parts. That contemporary metal fabricating facility does form some of the finest dimensional profiles in the industry. It’s just that, whatever the machine shop does accomplish, a sintered processing line can do better.

As capable as an advanced fabrication facility obviously is, it takes many stages to produce a final product. Those stages introduce stress, hamper productivity, and lack an assured repeatability factor. Powder metallurgy eliminates work stress. The techniques involved in this compressive processing environment also eliminate multiple machine operations, so the project moves exceptionally fast. Finally, that pore-inducing procedure injects the sintered product with a whole new set of features, including noise reduction, self-lubrication, and a talent for regulating a magnetic field.

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