Can Metal Powders Be Blended or Mixed During Sintering Process?

March 11, 2021

Sintering is a heat treatment process that can effectively provide notable benefits to different sintered parts and components. When done successfully, this process can effectively reduce porosity, provide strength, and improve electrical and thermal conductivity. All the benefits of the sintering process have been maximised by different sectors such as automotive, aerospace, construction, and electrical sectors.

The process of sintering converts metal powders into parts and components that have most of the aforementioned properties. It only involves minimal machining operations, all without compromising the quality and efficiency of the products being produced.

An Overview of Powder Metallurgy

The powder metallurgy is comprised of steps that convert parts and components into metal powders. Unlike other metal-related processes, powder metallurgy can minimise and even avoid the use of metal removal processes that can generate significant yield losses and higher costs in manufacture.

The first step in powder metallurgy is blending. It is a process wherein the powders of raw metals are being selected and portioned into alloys. Blending allows the conversion of copper, tin, zinc, iron, and other raw metals into alloys such as bronze, brass, iron copper, and others. This is typically done by combining the metal powders, any additional elements, and a powdered lubricant.

After the blending process, the powder metallurgy will then proceed to compacting. This process is intended to produce finished parts that have precise specifications. The blended metal powders from the previous step are fed into dies and are compacted with hydraulic or mechanical pressures. The use of these compaction methods allows the powders to obtain the intended size, shape, and density.

The last major step in the powder metallurgy process is the heating or sintering of the products. Sintering the compacted metal powders is typically done by placing them in high-temperature furnaces. This process is designed to bond all the particles and additives of the metal powders together as well as generate other properties of the finished product.

Blending or Mixing Metal Powders

Metal powders can be blended and mixed with additional elements and a powdered lubricant during the entire powder metallurgy process. One of the main purposes of blending or mixing them is to introduce alloying additives in a homogenous form. Since die pressing feedstocks have elemental mixes that can promote high compressibility level, they can easily guarantee metal powders and other elements to stay intact throughout the powder metallurgy process.

Another purpose of blending or mixing metal powders is to incorporate a pressing lubricant on their overall composition. The incorporation of the lubricant allows the sintered products to have reduced friction during the compaction process. Lubricant can likewise reduce ejection forces as well as minimise the possibility of ejection cracking during the same compaction process.

To know more about the whole powder metallurgy process, feel free to contact us at PM Distributors. We are a company based in Dandenong South, Victoria, Australia, that is dedicated to providing first-class services for your place of business or establishment.


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