Powdered Metals are less intimidating than they sound. It doesn’t take a Metallurgical genius to understand these unique processes of metal working. In short, Powdered Metals are a special class of metals that begin with small particles of different grades of metal.
There are many ways to turn Powdered Metal into a very strong piece of hardware.
- Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) – By using high heat and very heavy pressurization, HIP compresses metals into molds and sinters them to hold a specific shape before being heat treated for maximum strength.
- Cold Isostatic Pressing (CIP) – Similar to HIP, CIP uses pressurized water or air to place pressure on molds as they solidify into specific shapes. This is very common in CNC and small quantity metal processing.
- Powder Forging – The most common method of Powder Metal forming, Powder Forging is the process where very small particles of metal are heated, then pressed to create a recombined and strong metal bond. It is similar to the old fashioned process of metal forging.
- Metal Injection Molding (MIM) – Using very fine powdered metal and combining it with wax/molten plastic, the combination is placed in a mold where it shapes and solidifies into very specific and specialized designs.
- Electric Current Assisted Sintering (ECAS) – This process uses electric currents to densify metals. This includes processes such as Spark Plasma Sintering and Electro Sinter Forging.
- Additive Manufacturing – This is the newest method of Powder Metallurgy creation and has incredible potential in material sciences. This modern phenomenon includes processes such as 3D printing, Laser sintering or Electro Beam Melting.
Powder Metals are a important part of the metal working industry. Most everyday creations are created using this awesome process.