Creating the Right Blend for Durability, Reliability, and Accuracy
The first step in the PM process is blending carefully selected and portioned raw powders such as copper, tin, zinc, iron, and nickel into metal alloys such as bronze, brass, iron nickel, or iron copper.
Compacting the Mixture to Precise Specifications Under Controlled Pressure
The second step in the PM process is compacting, which is the step that gives the finished parts their shape. The combined metal powders are fed into dies and compressed with mechanical or hydraulic pressures to compact the powder into a relatively stable unit of the size, shape, and density required.
Heating or "Sintering" to Create a Permanent Form
The third step in the PM process is heating or sintering the compacted metal powders in special high-temperature furnaces to bond the particles of metal and additives together and create the desired properties in the finished product. In some cases, secondary operations such as repressing, coining, or sizing are performed after sintering to produce required properties in the finished component.
Steps in operating cycle of molding tools:
- Top plunger raised. Powder shoe in fill position. Bottom plunger lowered to accept fill.
- Top plunger moved into die and bottom plunger raises to compact fill.
- Top plunger rises out of die and bottom plunger pushes part out of die.
- Powder shoe moves over die, pushes part away. Cavity refills as bottom plunger descends.