An Overview about Sintered Components’ Basic Manufacturing ProcessOctober 13, 2020
Several industry sectors maximise the features and properties of sintered components. Components that have undergone the sintering process are known to be more durable and possess excellent mechanical characteristics and complex geometries. They are also cheaper than other products. All these benefits make sintered components to be perfect for product assemblies.
Basic Elements of Sintered Components
Two basic elements that are needed to produce sintered components are metallic powder and tooling. The overall characteristics of the metallic powders usually determine the properties of the sintered component. Metal powder may be either pure metal or an alloy. Additionally, they may have a sponge, irregular, spherical, or laminar nature that covers the properties of the sintered product.
Tooling, alternatively, is an element that holds the negative shape of the final sintered component. The powder mixture being processed and manufactured is placed and compacted inside this tool so that its final form would be durable and obtain precise properties.
Three Essential Manufacturing Processes
To produce and manufacture sintered components, three basic processes must be done. These processes are mixing, compacting, and sintering.
Mixing is the first step in producing sintered components. During this process, the base metal powder is mixed and combined with different alloying elements through an organic lubricant and special additives. Strict dosing and control processes are further done to maintain the material chemical composition of the mixture. The powder mixture that will be produced after this step will now obtain all the desired mechanical, physical, and chemical characteristics of the final product.
The next step in producing sintered components is compacting. During compacting, the powder mixture from the previous process will now be filled into the tool cavity through gravity. A uniaxial pressure, which is measured depending on the desired final density, is subsequently applied onto the tool cavity to effectively compact the mixture. Once the compacted mixture is removed from the tooling, it is now expected to possess specific mechanical strength.
Ultimately, sintering is done by heating the compacted part at a specific time and temperature in continuous furnaces. The heating temperature of this process, which is around 750 to 1,300°C is normally lower than the base metal melting point. The furnace used in this process has controlled speed, atmosphere conditions, and chemical composition. Once the heating is done, the metallic part will now have great micro-porosity and high dimensional precision.
Some Properties of Sintered Components
Sintered components are usually suitable for adhesive bonding due to their excellent surface porosity. Most of the time, these components can be simply joined to other materials through gluing. And once they are integrated into other materials, one can already expect a uniform stress distribution within these products. Aside from their adhesive bonding, sintered components likewise possess enhanced tensile strength, great compressive strength, and improved ductility as their density increases.
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