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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Metal Powders are precisely engineered materials that meet a wide range of performance requirements. These engineered materials offer wide latitude to develop materials with properties tailored to the application through metal alloying. These engineering properties are affected by several factors that include material type, powder fabrication process and the component manufacturing process.

Process

  • The process steps involved in the production of metal powders are melting, atomizing and solidifying of the respective metals and alloys. Metal powder production methods such as oxide reduction and water atomization, are limited with respect to special powder quality criteria, such as particle geometry,  particle morphology and chemical purity.
  • Metals commonly used in powder form include iron, steel tin, nickel, copper, aluminium and titanium. Refractory metals include tungsten, molybdenum and tantalum. Bronze, brass, stainless steel and nickel cobalt alloys are also used.

Technology

  • Metal powder technology is one of the most established production methods nowadays in all kinds of industries.
  • A revolutionary method of using concentrated solar energy for producing hydrogen in a clean, safe and inexpensive way was developed by a cooperation of scientists from Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and France. This new method, based on the production of pure zinc, may enable an easier and quicker move to a hydrogen-based economy thus reducing the need for the depleting petroleum and its polluting side effects.

Market

  • Metal powders are just a tiny fraction of the global metals industry, yet they play a key role in such high-profile sectors as cars and consumer electronics. The global value of metal powder consumption has risen since 2000 to over $3.7 billion from under $3 billion. Part of this increase is due to recently escalating primary metal prices. The increase in overall tonnage shipped is in the order of 20%.
  • Metal powder makers are developing new high-density steels and processes to achieve a density of 7.5 grams per cubic centimeter by single pressing and sintering. Achieving densities of 7.5 and above will certainly open up new markets, with PM gears and sprockets for automotive transmissions being but two such potential applications

Applications

  • Metal powders are used in a wide variety of applications which include dietary supplements in food processing, additives in paint and other coatings, as pigments in printing and packaging, in solid fuels and cements. Probably the major area though is in the cost-effective production of metal components for a vast array of end uses.

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