Discover the science behind metal powders in PM Review

December 15, 2021

As the Additive Manufacturing industry grows, so does the number of metal powder suppliers and the range of different powder types. This means it’s more important than ever that current and potential metal AM users develop their understanding of powder manufacturing, powder types, powder properties, and the metal powder market.

In the most widely-adopted forms of metal AM, Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) and Binder Jetting (BJT), metal powders are spread onto a build plate and joined together layer by layer using laser beams or a jetted binder, respectively. Understanding powder characteristics such as spreadability, atmospheric and heat reactivity, as-sintered strength, porosity, etc, can help to optimise build parameters, prevent costly build errors and delays, and – most importantly – improve final part properties.

Even in Material Extrusion (MEX)-based processes that use bound filaments or feedstocks instead of raw powders as the starting material, understanding the properties of the powders within your feedstock is vital to select the right material for the right build.

Powder Metallurgy Review is the only business-focused magazine for the metal powder industries, covering topics from the making of metal powders to applications for conventional metal powder-based manufacturing methods like press and sinter Powder Metallurgy. The Winter 2021 issue of PM Review features three articles designed to give readers a grounding in metal powder atomisation, starting out in the metal powder production business, and a deeper understanding of how key property combinations of tungsten heavy alloy powders can contribute to better final parts.

Read more about what’s on offer below:

How to make metal powders. Part 1: An introduction to atomisation, process fundamentals and powder characteristics

The rise of metal Additive Manufacturing has resulted in renewed interest in metal powder production. A market once dominated by a small number of specialist powder producers has now seen the arrival of a diverse range of competitors, all hoping to capitalise on the promised opportunities of metal powder-based part production. As many are discovering, however, making powders with the required characteristics, to the necessary standards, and profitably, is far from easy.

Here, in the first instalment of a four-part series, two masters of metal powder atomisation, Joe Strauss and John Dunkley, introduce the process.

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Starting out in powder production: The story of Fomas Group’s Mimete metal powder business

Spun out of Fomas Group in 2017, Mimete S.r.l has quickly carved out a position in the metal powder market as a provider of high-performance, gas atomised iron, nickel and cobalt-base alloy powders for metal Additive Manufacturing. But how did a company born of a forging specialist make the transition to advanced metal powder producer?

In this article, Luca van der Heide speaks to senior employees from Fomas Group and Mimete, who share how the company has acquired the necessary technical expertise for powder production, providing special insight into the techniques and products they have developed to live up to the challenges of a new, fast-changing market.

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Tungsten heavy alloys: An exploration of how key property combinations enable better mechanical performance

Applications for PM tungsten heavy alloys span from components for wristwatches and nuclear fusion plasma systems to parts for X-ray systems and eccentric vibrators. Given the huge range of applications, it stands to reason that an equally large variety of compositions, processing cycles and microstructures are used to deliver target combinations of density, strength, hardness, stiffness and conductivity in PM tungsten alloy parts.

In this article, Prof Randall German reviews the relationships between key material properties used to achieve these combinations.

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To keep up to date with the latest news and developments from the metal powder industry, sign up to the weekly PM Review enewsletter and follow us on LinkedIn.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • The GRCop story: The development, production and Additive Manufacturing of NASA’s rocket engine alloys
  • Formnext 2023: Innovations in metal Additive Manufacturing from the industry’s leading international exhibition
  • Cybersecurity in Additive Manufacturing: Securing the industry’s future
  • Additive Manufacturing in the jewellery industry: exploring the potential of platinum and titanium
  • Mission possible: The five-year plan to gain FAA and EASA acceptance of in-process monitoring

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The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
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Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
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