Materials for IMMC

June 09, 1999

TMX feedstocks

Ready for rechipping. Dave Hostetler, general manager of Rossborough’s Walkerton, IN plant, is confident that volumes will soon call for production of the company’s TXM scrap recycling system. A prototype has already been built and successfully tested. If volumes warrant, Rossborough’s systems can even be built next to a customer’s plant. Volumes for the magnesium TXM alloys Rossborough presently produces are in the neighborhood of 500 tons/year. Hostetler quickly adds that they were around 250 tons just last November. He also tells us industry experts predict consumption will be up to 5000 tons/year in only a year’s time. Those “industry experts” were from an unidentified major supplier of engineering thermoplastics now considering TXM ventures, possibly including soft-touch, two-shot ETP/TXM applications.

Rossborough will continue to offer toll rechipping services at competitive prices, until the market is ready for its systems. Toll recycling is only one of the services the company offers to TXM molders. Rossborough is the largest North American supplier of TXM alloys in magnesium, zinc, and aluminum. In addition to its four-year-old ISO-certified plant in Walkerton, Rossborough also operates a primary magnesium and magnesium alloy plant in China.

Contact information
Rossborough Mfg. Co. LP,
Walkerton Div.
Walkerton, IN
Phone: (219) 586-9559
Fax: (219) 586-9625

PIM powders

Easy-processing carbonyl iron. In 1997, market demand for low-alloy steel parts made with low-cost carbonyl iron (prices start at $3.50/lb) began to grow. Today, driven by demand from the U.S. market, carbonyl irons are the largest-volume MIM powders being used. BASF, the leading global supplier of carbonyl iron powders, has introduced a new premium-priced grade designated CC in commercial quantities. CC was developed to provide easier processing in high-density finished products with complex geometries. Characteristics it shares with all BASF’s carbonyl irons include spherical shape, uniform particle size, low porosity, and purity, although CC provides better flowability.

Ultrafine atomization extends options. Conventional gas atomization methods produce easy processing spherical powders with low oxygen content. But particle size and price are higher and yield is lower compared to water-atomized powders. Water atomization produces finer particle sizes, but the powders are irregularly shaped, and have lower tap densities and a higher oxygen content. Oxygen reacts with carbon during the sintering of some metals, like low-alloy steels, and can cause carbon control problems.

Pacific Metals (Pamco) has developed a combination water and gas atomization technology that provides the best of both worlds. It is capable of operating in batches of 30 tons, producing more spherical powders with higher tap densities and lower oxygen content than conventional water atomization methods. Pamco tests have shown that powders atomized using its latest technology require 10 percent less binder and subsequently exhibit 10 percent less shrinkage. And Pamco’s technology is capable of producing a wider variety of powders than with gas atomization, including invar, super invar, kovar, low-alloy steels, all stainless steels, and high-alloy steels.

Contact information
BASF Corp.
Mount Olive, NJ
Phone: (973) 426-4780
Fax: (973) 426-4782

Pacific Metals Co. Ltd.
Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 (3) 3201 6673
Fax: +81 (3) 3212 7876

PIM feedstocks

MIM feedstocks for research. Advanced Metalworking Practices, the leading supplier of MIM feedstocks in North America, is donating 20 lb (9 kg) lots of commercially available, high-quality nickel-iron feedstocks to colleges and other qualified nonprofit organizations for research in molding, debinding, and sintering. Donations are free of charge, except for shipping and handling costs. Since 1988, Advanced Metalworking has supplied MIM feedstocks containing custom-blended and prealloyed powders.

Water-debinding binders. Zschimmer & Schwarz supplies its Siliplast line of thermoplastic binders exclusively for use in environmentally friendly metal and ceramic PIM feedstocks formulated for water debinding. The binders, based on modified polyalcohol, have good wetting characteristics and provide for low binder dosages into the letdown, contributing to less powder/binder separation. Good thermal stability allows for easy recycling, and the high green strength imparted allows for more stress-free parts handling. The series includes grades for iron and stainless steel powders, oxide-based ceramic mixes, and silicate ceramic mixes, plus a two-component binder with corrosion inhibitors for iron powders.

PIM feedstock plasticizers. Clariant offers its Hostamont EK 583 plasticizers for PIM feedstocks with the following raw materials: porcelain ceramic (calcinated hard or soft porcelains that contain no clay), engineered ceramics (aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, and others on request), and metals (iron, stainless steel, hardmetals). Hostamont EK 583 can be supplied in combination with binders suitable to water, acetone, or thermal debinding.

Contact information
Advanced Metalworking Practices Inc.
Carmel, IN
Phone/Fax: (317) 843-1233

Zschimmer & Schwarz GmbH & Co.
Lahnstein, Germany
Phone: +49 (2) 621 12546
Fax: +49 (2) 621 12403

Clariant GmbH
Gersthofen, Germany
Phone: +49 821 479 2781

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