Ohio processor consolidating
Powder processing starts with particles having specific attributes of size, shape, packing, and composition and converts them into a strong, precise, high-performance component.
Key process steps include the shaping or compaction of the particles and thermal bonding of the particles using sintering.
Interaction between the material and the energy that produces the consolidation is a key feature of the process.
This interaction can be either beneficial or detrimental to the final product.
An important characteristic of powder is its high surface area to volume ratio, which leads to behavior that lies between that of a solid and that of a fluid.
Powders will flow under gravity to fill containers or die cavities, so in this sense they behave like liquids.
Much of the powder processing industry does not have a strong research history and often lags in technological applications.
Fundamental research is performed at universities, with some recent, successful industry-university partnerships in atomization, spray forming, powder injection molding, and advanced ceramics.
Powder processing uses a different approach than traditional component fabrication.
Consolidation processes consist of the assembly of smaller objects into a single product in order to achieve a desired geometry, structure, or property.
These processes rely on the application of mechanical, chemical, or thermal energy to effect consolidation and achieve bonding between objects.
Not only are the chemistry, heat treatment, and microstructure variable, but the distribution of phases and microconstituents, including porosity and reinforcing phases, is controllable.
Powder is a finely divided solid—typically smaller than one millimeter in size—of a controlled composition and can be combined with other materials, such as polymers, to ease forming or create composites.