Material selection is a vital part of the design process, and metal powders are available for manufacturing a wide range of products through the powder metallurgy (PM) process.
Generally, powder mixes for compacting are prepared from three powder types.
- The first type is admixed powder, in which elemental alloying powders (such as copper, nickel, graphite, and tin) are added to base element powders (such as iron or copper).
- The second type is partially alloyed powder, composed of two or more elements with alloying additives that are diffusion-bonded to the base powder during the powder manufacturing process. These powders produce a heterogeneous microstructure with good dimensional control and excellent as-sintered mechanical properties.
- The third type is prealloyed powders, which are atomized from alloyed furnace melts such that each powder particle has the same nominal composition throughout. Prealloyed powders yield homogeneous phase constituents in the microstructure.
For a thorough review of standards for the design and materials engineer, read MPIF Standard 35.
Additionally, the Global Powder Metallurgy Property Database provides material property information covering a wide range of PM material systems.
For a brief overview showing the scope of conventional materials, take a look at these tables: