Powder Metallurgy Industry Structure
The three segments of the PM industry are linked together and support each other.
Producers of powders and other raw materials
These are the companies that, using a variety of techniques, including atomization, chemical, electrolysis, and solid-state reduction, manufacture the powders that are the building blocks of the PM technology. The most common metal powders available are iron and steel, stainless steel, tin, nickel, copper, aluminum, and titanium, as well as refractory materials such as tungsten, molybdenum, and tantalum. Companies that make lubricants and other additives that are essential to the PM process are included within this segment of the industry.
Makers of process equipment and tooling
This industry segment consists of companies engaged in the manufacture of equipment and technology for the compaction and sintering of powder metallurgy components, including presses, dies, furnaces, and those that manufacture industrial gases that are essential to the sintering process. It also includes suppliers of specialized equipment, systems, and support services for powder handling, secondary machinging and finishing operations, control automation, robotics, and laboratory testing.
This segment embraces those firms that fabricate finished components using one of the compaction technologies available. Most companies produce these components while serving as contractors for OEMs who use them in their finished products. In-house suppliers consume their finished components internally at their facilities.