There are many technologies that use metal powders as a key component, including powder metallurgy, additive manufacturing (AM), thermal spray coatings, and chemical vapor deposition.
The specific requirements for the metal powders used in these technologies can vary, depending on the application and the properties required of the powder.
Laser Powder Bed FusionLPBF / SLM
10 — 60 μm
Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), also known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM), is a metal 3D printing technology that uses a high-powered laser to selectively melt and fuse metal powder particles together to create a solid part.
In LPBF/SLM, a layer of metal powder is deposited onto a build platform. The high-power laser is then used to selectively melt and fuse the powder particles together, layer by layer, until the part is complete. The process is performed in a controlled atmosphere to prevent oxidation and ensure high-quality part production.
Direct Energy DepositionDED
45 — 90 μm
Direct Energy Deposition (DED) is a 3D printing technology that uses a high energy source, such as a laser or electron beam, to melt and deposit metal powders or wires onto a substrate. This technology is capable of producing metal parts with high strength, high density and complex geometries.
In DED, the metal powder or wire is fed through a nozzle and directed onto a substrate. The high-energy source then melts the metal, which solidifies and fuses with the substrate to form a solid part. The process is repeated layer by layer until the desired part is complete.
Brazing & Soldering
5 — 50 μm
Brazing and soldering are two metal joining processes that use metal powders to create strong and reliable bonds between two or more metal parts. Both processes involve the use of a filler material, typically a metal alloy in powder form, which is heated to melt and flow between the parts being joined.
5 — 50 μm
Powder spraying, also known as thermal spray coating, is a metal powder technology in which a stream of molten or semi-molten metal particles is sprayed onto a surface to form a coating.
In powder spraying, metal powder is fed into a spray gun, where it is melted or heated to a semi-molten state. The spray gun then projects the molten or semi-molten metal particles onto the surface to be coated, where they solidify to form a coating. The process is typically performed in a controlled environment to ensure high-quality coating production.
Filters and foams
10 — 50 μm
Metal powder technology is not limited to creating solid parts and coatings. It can also be used to create porous filters and foams that have unique properties and applications.
To create metal filters and foams, metal powder is mixed with a binder to create a paste or slurry. The mixture is then formed into the desired shape using mold or 3D printing technology. The molded part is then heated to burn off the binder and sinter the metal particles together, creating a solid, porous structure.
Conventional Powder Metallurgy
1 — 120 μm
Conventional Powder Metallurgy (PM) is a manufacturing process in which metal powders are compacted into the desired shape and then sintered to produce a solid metal part. Particle size distribution requirements for metal powders used in PM can vary depending on the specific materials and equipment used.
The particle size distribution requirements for PM powders depend on several factors, including the desired properties of the final part, the sintering conditions, and the method of powder compaction. In general, finer particle sizes result in parts with higher density and better surface finish. However, finer powders can be more difficult to handle and can result in increased tool wear during compaction.
45 — 120 μm
Laser cladding, also known as laser metal deposition, is a metal powder technology that uses a high-powered laser to melt and fuse metal powder onto a surface to create a coating or repair a damaged part.
In laser cladding, metal powder is fed into a stream of inert gas and directed through a nozzle onto the surface to be coated or repaired. A high-powered laser is then used to melt and fuse the metal particles to the surface, creating a strong and durable coating. The process is controlled by computer software to ensure precise and accurate application of the coating.
5 — 25 μm
Binder Jetting is a 3D printing technology that uses a binder to selectively bond layers of powder material to create a part. The process is repeated layer by layer until the part is complete.
In Binder Jetting, a thin layer of powder material is spread on a build platform. The print head then selectively applies a binder to the powder layer according to the desired shape of the part. Once a layer is completed, the platform is lowered, and the process is repeated with a new layer of powder until the part is complete.
Metal Injection MoldingMIM
1 — 30 μm
Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is widely used to produce medical devices, aerospace and defense components, automotive parts, consumer products and electronics. It is a versatile and cost-effective manufacturing process that can produce small, complex metal parts with high precision and consistency.
In the Metal Injection Molding (MIM) process, metal powder is mixed with a binder to create a homogeneous feedstock. The feedstock is then molded into the desired shape using an injection molding machine. After molding, the part undergoes a rebinding process to remove the binder material and is then sintered to create a fully dense metal part. MIM is a versatile and cost-effective manufacturing process that can produce complex metal parts with high precision and consistency
OtherHIP, PPS, SPS
1 — 50 μm
Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP), Powder Plasticization Sintering (PPS), and Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) are three metal powder technologies that use heat and pressure to consolidate metal powders into solid parts. These techniques are particularly useful for producing parts with high density, strength, and dimensional accuracy.
In addition to the metal powder technologies featured on our website, there are many other innovative methods that use metal powders to produce high-quality parts and components. These technologies include a range of advanced additive manufacturing techniques as well as more traditional manufacturing methods that incorporate metal powders to improve performance and efficiency. Some examples of these technologies include metal foam production and melt spinning, among others. By using metal powders as a key material in these various manufacturing processes, engineers and manufacturers can achieve exceptional precision, strength and reliability in their products, helping to push the boundaries of what is possible in modern manufacturing.