Metal powder is the base materials for the production of metallic component through the conventional powder metallurgy route or the emerging field of additive manufacturing. In any of these process routes, the properties of the finished product depends on the character of the base powder from which it is produced which is equally dependent on the process of production of the base powder. Therefore, there are different methods for producing metal powders with each method offering different particle morphology and purity. These methods include crushing (for brittle material), machining, mechanical pulverization, slotting, electrolysis, atomization of liquid metal using water, nitrogen, argon, or a combination of these, and reduction of metal oxides in hydrogen or using carbon. These metal oxides could be materials such as iron ore or iron oxide generated from pickling plants, in steel strip mills. Other methods include reduction of metal oxide with higher carbon containing, metal powder, chemical decomposition of metal carbonyls, and electrolytic processing of cathodic deposition from molten metal salts; and in some instances, recycling (Sharma, 2011). Each of these methods provides different particle morphology and characteristics. An illustration of typical powder shapes produced from some of these processes is shown in Figures 1 and 2.
Nickel powder can be made by a number of different processes, including atomisation from melts or precipitation from solutions. However, these techniques tend to give relatively large particles and can be difficult to control economically at fine particle sizes. The nickel carbonyl gas process on the other hand tends to produce much finer particles, and with sufficient production know-how plus the latest computerised process controls, the particles produced can be precisely controlled to very accurate shapes and tolerances.
Copper powder is produced by many processes including chemical precipitation, electrolytic deposition, oxide reduction, water atomization, gas atomization, and jet milling. Accordingly, Cu powders are commercially available in a wide range of particle shapes and sizes. Electrolytic and chemical powders exhibit poor packing and poor rheology in molding, so they have been largely unsuccessful for MIM (Wada, Kankawa, & Kaneko, 1997). Characteristics of examples of the other types are summarized in Table 20.2. Representative scanning electron micrographs are given in Fig. 20.4. These powders all have similar particle sizes but different morphologies. Typical purities reported by the manufacturers are about 99.85 wt%; however, oxygen contents can range up to 0.76 wt%. Powders are usually shipped containing desiccant and proper powder storage is essential to avoid oxidation between purchase and use.
It is important to try this experiment before doing it as a demonstration, as different samples of aluminium powder can react differently. The induction period for some samples can be quite long. However, this is an impressive and spectacular demonstration, proving that water can be a catalyst. It also shows that aluminium is a very reactive metal, and that its usual unreactive nature is due to the surface oxide layer.
Titanium powder metallurgy can produce high performance and low cost titanium parts. Compared with those by conventional processes, high performance P/M titanium parts have many advantages: excellent mechanical properties, near-net-shape and low cost, being easy to fabricate complex shape parts, full dense material, no inner defect, fine and uniform microstructure, no texture, no segregation, low internal stress, excellent stability of dimension and being easy to fabricate titanium based composite parts.Here are some questions that beauty technicians have been asking themselves since the appearance and marketing of cosmetic grade boron nitride powder.
Superfine powder is not just a functional material, but also established a solid foundation for the compounding and development of new functional material. The excellent performance of superfine powder exsites in its surface effect and volume effect. the smaller the size of powder, the larger the ratio between Area and volume. Because the BET (surface area) of superfine particle is large, and easy to agglomerate, so we need to do surface treatment/modify to the powder and make it easy dispersing and maximize its performance.