Protocol for Developing Sintering Cycles for Difficult Materials
German, R. (2002). Protocol for Developing Sintering Cycles for Difficult Materials. Advances in Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials - 2002, Metal Powder Industries Federation, Princeton, NJ. 13.245-13.
Powder metallurgy (P/M), sintered materials (S/M), and powder injection molding (PIM) are all graduating to the fabrication of materials that prove difficult to sinter. This is generally to expand the product offering while differentiating the P/M, S/M, and PIM concepts from competitive technologies. A goal is to sustain product value added in contrast with the global, low-cost sintering production of common oxide ceramics and ferrous alloys. However, the moves to some of the advanced materials often meet with processing frustrations. What are the difficulties with many of the “advanced” materials? Is there some protocol for solving these problems? What are the new developments? These questions are addressed in this paper, and a case is made that the difficulties are usually sintering problems associated with contamination, decomposition, or densification. Accordingly, a solution outline is provided that includes the most fruitful responses. Examples are offered based on success with aluminum alloys, titanium, chromium, bronze, sendust, tool steels, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, aluminum nitride, superalloys, and other materials new to S/M.