IMMC Materials News

By: 
March 31, 2001

PIM Powders and Feedstocks

Smaller, less expensive powders developed 
Water-atomized powders are less expensive than more spherical gas-atomized powders. However, they have a coarser, more irregular shape and a higher oxygen content. Though conventional wisdom says that water-atomized powders can decrease part deformation during debinding and sintering, it also says that these same powders undergo a higher degree of shrinkage. Therefore, part dimensional accuracy may be inferior when using them instead of gas-atomized powders.

Atmix, formerly known as Pacific Metals, uses unconventional ultrafine technology to combine gas and water atomization (see June 1999 IMMC, p. 32). Its latest market entry on this front is its R-type Series, designed to approximate the benefits of gas-atomized powders, while still holding the line on cost.

Compared to its previously released powders, R-type powders reportedly can reduce binder volume by 40 percent and shrinkage by nearly 50 percent. Oxygen content also has been nearly cut in half.

Atmix representative United States Bronze Powders adds that the company has even more recently developed a pure nickel 2-µm powder for micromolding.

United States Bronze Powders Inc.
Flemington, NJ
Phone: (908) 782-5454
Fax: (908) 782-3489

Atmix Corp., Tokyo, Japan
Yoshiyuki Kato
Phone: +81 (3) 5298-3351
Fax: +81 (3) 5298-3366
Web: www.atmix.co.jp


Pilot plant launched
Wideflow has begun supplying pilot-plant quantities in up to 30-kg batches of 10-µm spherical MIM powders using its proprietary melt-film atomization technology. As previously detailed (December 1999 IMMC, pp. 23-24), Wideflow's on-demand technology may have the potential to cut powder pricing in half. Gunther Schulz, managing director, says he expects to scale production quantities up to 300-kg batches in the near future.

Wideflow Metal Powder Production & Engineering
Ohrdruf, Germany
Phone: +49 (3624) 3317-11
Fax: +49 (3624) 3317-29
Web: www.wideflow.de
E-mail: [email protected]


Ultrafine PIM powders
Using its water atomization process, Hoeganaes has developed a new technology for producing fine metal powders that are suitable alternatives to gas-atomized and carbonyl powders. The new high-purity, near-spherical prealloyed particles reportedly reduce costs and fill a niche in the PIM market for applications that use finer materials. This new technology produces materials that typically measure less than 20 µm in size. Two products, 316L and 17-4 PH stainless steel, are commercially available, and four others are under development.

Hoeganaes Corp., Cinnaminson, NJ
Phone: (856) 829-2220
Fax: (856) 786-2574
Web: www.hoeganaes.com


New feedstock supplier
Newly renamed Apex Advanced Technologies LLC has commercialized its first series of custom MIM feedstocks. Featuring its patented Reverse Debind technology, feedstocks containing stainless steel and ferrous metal materials are available now. Tool steel, 420 stainless, and titanium grades will follow.

Apex Advanced Technologies LLC
Cleveland, OH
Phone: (216) 635-1420
Fax: (216) 635-1424 




TXM Feedstock

Creep-resistant alloy 
A new alloy from Noranda, designated AE42, is said to exhibit better creep resistance at high temperatures than AZ91D, even though it processes at somewhat higher temperatures. In addition to better creep resistance, it also has good vibration-absorbing characteristics and stiffness, suiting it to lightweight automotive applications in power trains.

Still in the experimental phase, another alloy from the company touted for its creep resistance is magnesium-aluminum-strontium, available in high- and low-strontium grades. The alloys reportedly exhibit excellent high-temperature creep strength and bolt-load retention, and have a corrosion rate comparable to existing high-purity magnesium alloys.

Noranda Magnesium Inc.
Franklin, TN
Phone: (615) 771-2327
Fax: (615) 771-9346
Web: www.norandamagnesium.com


TXM chips are shaping up
Is a new easier-handling shape coming for TXM chips? Addressing a technical seminar late last year, a spokesman for the world's largest TXM feedstock supplier, Rossborough, hinted that this might soon be the case. "Ideally, we would like to see pellets," this high-level company source said.

Rossborough Mfg. Co.
Avon Lakes, OH
Phone: (440) 933-9300
Fax: (440) 933-4122 

 

 

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