How to Gauge the Quality and Characteristics of Metal Powders

January 14, 2021

When it comes to powder metallurgy, the perceived quality and characteristics of metal powders can all affect the outcome of the products. And so, to obtain greater product results, businesses would normally want to have their metal powders tested. These tests allow them to determine both the physical and mechanical properties of the metal powders as well as their efficiency towards certain applications.

There are certain elements of metal powders that you must look out for when gauging their overall quality. Knowing them can provide you with sufficient knowledge about their true effectiveness and usefulness. After all, you will be using these metal powders in forming parts and coating surfaces.

To determine the quality of your metal powders, here are some elements of metal powders that you must check and consider carefully.

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of metal powders would usually determine their quality, especially when it comes to their overall type and percentage of impurity. The percentage of impurity that can be found on metal powders can help identify their electrical and magnetic properties, which may be crucial for some applications. Their chemical composition can likewise be defined by their particle hardness and compressibility. This specific element is often tested through standard techniques of chemical analysis.

Particle Size

The particle size of metal powders can help assess their mould strength, porosity, expulsion of trapped gasses, and dimensional stability. This element can also determine the agglomeration, flow, and mixing properties of the metal powders. The particle size of metal powders can be expressed in either diameter or average diameter, which would depend on the shape of their particles.

Particle Shape

Powder particles can come in various shapes. Some of them can be spherical, rounded, angular, or acicular. Others, alternatively, may be fragmented or possess irregular shapes. What makes particle shape significant is that it can quickly affect the compacting and sintering properties of the powder metallurgy processes. Some shapes may have reduced density and flow rate, while others may have reduced pressing properties. These differences can help users choose the best metal powders.

Flow Rate

Another element that can help determine the quality of metal powders is the flow rate. The flow rate of metal powders basically determines their ability to flow under gravity from a container to another area. It is recommended that the powder can fill the die rapidly and uniformly to maintain consistency throughout the powder metallurgy processes. Poor flow rate normally results in slow feeding of the cavity. It can also cause uneven filling of the die cavity during the pressing process. The flow rate of powder metals is usually affected by particle size, size distribution, absorbed air and other external particles.

For more information about metal powders, you can contact us at PM Distributors. We are a company based in Dandenong South, Victoria, Australia, that provides first-class service and bearings for your place of business. We can also provide customised solutions to all our clients.


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