Ahmad K Elshennawy, George F Schrader
Powder metallurgy is becoming a competitive process to metal casting, forging, and machining operations. It produces parts and components more economically to net shape dimensions. Gears, cams, cutting tools, bearings, bushings, and other automotive components are some examples of products made by powder metallurgy techniques. Powder metallurgy is the manufacture of products from finely divided metals and metallic compounds. The powder metallurgy process consists of these five steps: metal powders, blending, compaction, sintering, and finishing. Selective laser sintering is a rapid prototyping process that is based on sintering of metallic and nonmetallic powder selectively into an individual object. A class of materials made possible by powder metallurgy is known as cermets. Because of the elimination of finishing and assembly operations in many cases, waste is minimized and the need for additional machinery is avoided. The near-net-shape feature and eliminating the need for additional applications and additional processing add more justifiable reasons for automation.
By Gary Conner
By George N Bullen FSME