Modern Sintering Technology and Its Effects on Microstructure of Metals

May 29, 2020

Numerous manufacturing businesses have been utilising sintering technology as a way of fabricating a solid mass of materials and products. Sintering technology involves the process of compacting and forming materials with the help of thermal treatment, which is also crucial for processing ceramic and powder metallurgical. Unlike other processes, this specific technology does not involve any type of melting material to the point of its liquefaction.

To date, there are two categories for sintering, which are conventional sintering and advanced sintering. The way these sintering categories perform provides different effects on the microstructure of a material, especially with the metal ones.

Conventional Sintering Technology

Compared to modern sintering technology, conventional sintering technology is more appealing in mass-producing products because of its lower cost maintenance. Moreover, this type of sintering technology can significantly control the minimum grain growth through maximising the last density that is determined by the heating curve.

What is great about conventional sintering technology is it only involves heating of the powder compact after preparing it at ambient temperatures. Any external pressure is not applied during the heating of the powder compact. Alternatively, a pressure assisting method like hot pressing, sinter forging, hot isostatic pressing, and many more is applied to a material that has dense properties for it to acquire nanopowder.

Modern Sintering Technology

There are three types of modern sintering technology: hot pressing sintering, microwave sintering, and spark plasma sintering.

Hot pressing sintering is used to produce a mixture of two or more types of metals powder base product that can acquire improved mechanical properties. Some of the materials that undergo this type of sintering technique are densified even at a lower temperature. One effect of hot pressing sintering is that it improves the densification kinetic and limitations of grain development.

On the other hand, microwave sintering is a type of modern sintering technology that is widely applied in calcination, drying of ceramic, and decomposition of gaseous species. Some advantages of this type of sintering include faster processing and heating selective. Processed materials by microwave sintering are also enhanced through the inhibition of the grain, which helps them develop fully while reducing the processing time and energy. Additionally, this sintering technique can also produce great microstructure control, improve the mechanical properties of a material, expand the geometry of a product, and reduce the manufacturing cost.

Another type of modern sintering technology is spark plasma sintering. It is a new technology that has the potential of densifying powders while preventing them from becoming rough. It is used to perform fast consolidation of materials that are tough to sinter. The use of low homogenous temperature and short time makes it suitable for the preservation and nanocrystalline densification feature in some materials. Compared to other sintering technology, spark plasma sintering is only used by select industries since the price of the required equipment is very expensive. Moreover, it produces inferior efficiency in sintering, which prevents businesses from adapting this sintering technique.

Knowing the properties and the effects of these methods and techniques can help you pick the right one for your business. If you want to know more about conventional and modern sintering technique, just give us a call at PM Distributors.

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