Everything You Should Know About Heat Treating Sintered Metals

March 7, 2023

Metals are materials often used by a wide array of industries in producing parts and prototypes. The automotive industry, for instance, capitalises on engines, car chassis, and other components that are mostly made from metals. The electronics industry likewise uses metals in creating various parts of appliances, equipment pieces, and so on.

But not all metals boast similar qualities. Some metals can be stronger, while others may be more flexible than others. Given the differences in their properties, businesses should ensure that the metals they will maximise can make their operations successful.

Primary Qualities of Sintered Metal Parts

One type of metal that industries can utilise today is sintered metals. Sintered metals are materials generated through powder metallurgy. Powder metallurgy is a metal-forming process wherein metals are powdered, compacted, and exposed to temperatures below their melting points. This process can replace other metal fabrication processes that tend to be costly. Some processes powder metallurgy can replace are cutting, casting, and stamping.

The formation of a solid mass out of metal powders through heat and pressure is known as sintering. Sintered metal parts, after being exposed to temperatures below their melting points, are expected to boast properties that other metals may not possess.

A notable quality of sintered metal parts is they are cost-effective. Unlike other metal-forming processes, powder metallurgy does not generate too much material waste. This quality makes these parts cheaper to produce and obtain. Less material waste also means that these metals are eco-friendly. Sintered metal parts likewise have excellent surface finishes and good performance qualities. They can even have complex dimensions and shapes.

Heat Treating Process of Sintered Metals

Sintering is a heat treatment process that is often applied to compacted metal powders. It then allows the parts to become strong and long-lasting. But to make sintered metals more dependable, a lot of things should be considered whenever sintered parts are heat treated.

One of the things that should be considered when processing sintered metals is surface damage. Sintered metals are often designed to boast a net shape. They also avoid machining. And so, if they boast some surface damage, their acceptance may be reduced significantly.

Residual fluids are elements that must also be considered when processing sintered metals. Some metal parts may have had secondary operations before heat treatment and may boast residual fluids in their pores. The existence of these fluids may only affect their quality. These fluids may even lessen the part strength of the sintered metals.

Sintered metals often have a certain level of porosity on their parts. Hence, some quenchant used during their processing may only penetrate their pores. To prevent the infiltration of the quenchant, the sintered metals should be cleaned multiple times. Cleaning them can likewise reduce quenchant drag-out to the tempering process.

Now, some quenchants may be in the form of water. If industries maximise this quenchant, the sintered metals’ surface may be bombarded with some rust. Rust and other issues can be resolved by using quenchants with a corrosion inhibitor.

To acquire sintered metals, you can contact us at PM Distributors.

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