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Powder Metallurgy

• Powder metallurgy (P/M) is a process


for fabricating metal parts from finely
compacted metal powders.

Small detailed P/M


Component.
Advantages
• High strength parts with low ductility metals and metals
with very high melting temperatures.
• High tolerance parts possible with minimum
processing.
• High alloy contents possible; often alloy content
exceeds solubility limits of conventional wrought
metallurgical processing.
• Relatively low processing temperatures. Sintering is
generally a diffusion driven process rather than a
melting process, although some alloy metals may
become molten at sintering temperatures.
Disadvantages
• Start-up costs may be high relative to
conventional processing.
• Strength and stiffness may be inferior to
wrought alloys of similar composition.
• Porosity and low ductility may impair
durability.
• Fracture Toughness may be low.
Examples of P/M materials
• Typical metals used to take advantage of P/M
technology include:
– Fe-based alloys (plain-carbon, low alloy, high alloy and
stainless steels)
– Al-based alloys
– Cu-based alloys
– Co-based alloys
– Ni-based alloys
– Ti-based alloys
– W-based alloys
– Refractory metal alloys (Rhenium, tantalum).
P/M Nomenclature
• ASTM, SAE : Fe-based Alloys
 Class - Carbon Content
 Grade - Mechanical properties identifier
 Type - Density
• Density is a critical physical property that
strongly affects mechanical properties of P/M
alloys.
Metal Powder Industries
Federation - MPIF
Prefix Alloy - XX YY - Density
• Prefix - letter identifies the base metal;
– F - ferrous based alloy
– A- aluminum based alloys.
• Alloy (optional) - identifies the major alloy element.
– C - copper (Cu) or N - nickel (Ni)
• XX - nominal composition wt% of major alloy element.
• YY - carbon content in Fe-based P/M materials;
– 00 - carbon < 0.3%,
– 05 - carbon between 0.3% and 0.6%
– 08 - carbon between 0.6% and 1%.
• Density - single letter descriptor.
MPIF Example
• P/M iron-copper:
• 0.3% C (max), 9.5-10.5 % Cu, 87.2-90.5% Fe

• MPIF: FC10000 - Letter


• ASTM: B222, grade 3
• SAE: 862
Density and Properties
Fe-based P/M alloys
MPIF ASTM SAE Density Density Modulus Poison’s
“type” “type” (g/cm3) (%) (GPa) Ratio
N I 1 <6.0 <76% 72 0.18
P II 2 6.0-6.4 76-81 90 0.20
R III 3 6.4-6.8 81-87 110 0.21
S IV 4 6.8-7.2 87-92 130 0.23
T V 5 7.2-7.6 92-97 160 0.26
U - 7.6-7.86 97-100 205 0.28
Properties of selected Fe-
based P/M alloys

P/M alloy Composition Tensile Modulus Ductility


(wt%) Strength (GPa) EL %
(MPa)
FC-0200-P 0.3 C, 1.5-3.9 Cu, 93.8-99.1 Fe 160 90 2.5
FN-0205-T 0.3-0.6 C, 1.0-3.0 Ni, 925 160 2.0
2.5 (max) Cu, 87.2-90.5 Fe.
F- 0005-S 0.3 (max) C, 97.7-1.00 Fe 205 130 9
Typical Stress-Strain Behaviour
1000
x FN-0205-T

SAE1030 Steel (Ref)


Stress (MPa)

x F- 0005-S
x
FC-0200-P

0
0.1 0.2 0.3
Strain
Processing
Eg: FN-0205-T:
•Composition:
Iron, Nickel, Copper and graphite powders
•Pressed to near net shape
•Sintered at 1120 ° C - 10 to 30 Minutes
Fe : Tm = 1538 ° C
Ni : Tm = 1453 ° C
Cu: Tm = 1084 ° C
•up to 90% dense possible.

OR

•Pressed, pre-sintered at 845 ° C, then sintered


Basic Processing Steps
Effect of Density on Ductility and
Toughness of Fe-N P/M alloy
Effect of Density on Strength
of Fe-N P/M alloy
Refinement Treatments
• Fe- based P/M parts can be subsequently
treated to improve properties
• Steam Treatment is one method
• Improves Density, and Corrosion
Resistance
• Mechanical properties also improved
Effect of Steam Treatment on
Properties of Fe-Based P/M Alloys
Micrograph of P/M 401L
Stainless Steel

25µ
m
Aluminum Based P/M Alloys
• P/M used with aluminum alloys to give improved corrosion resistance and
mechanical properties in comparison with wrought metal alloys.
• The improvement in properties is achieved partly through microstructural
refinement through two mechanisms. Rapid solidification techniques (RS)
are used to provide very fine grain sizes and mechanical attrition provides
increased dispersion strengthening due to the powder surfaces.
• The fine grain size improves properties such as yield strength Hall-Petch
relationship, Sy ∝ 1/√d.
• For example, the RS P/M alloy Al- Zn 6.7% - Mg 2.4% - Cu-1.4%, Co-0.8%,
d=2 to 5 microns, 1/10 of the grain size of typical wrought alloys.
Al P/M Materials
• Tm = 660° C, Al-alloys not normally considered for use
in elevated temperature applications.
• However, P/M technology can push the limits of
application of al-alloys to temperatures of 300° C or
better.
• An example of this are Al-Fe-Ce alloys (7-9% Fe, 4-
6% Ce) that withstand 1000 hours of continuous
exposure at 225° C with no reduction of ambient-
temperature strength. Similar results occur after 100
hrs at 310° C.
• Alloys 7090 and 7091 are two commercially available
P/M alloys with good high temperature properties.
Properties of Selected P/M Aluminum Alloys and
7075-T6
Alloy Composition Tensile Yield Ductility
(wt%) Strength Strength( EL %
(MPa) MPa)
7090-T6E192 8.0 Zn, 2.5 Mg, 1.0 Cu, 1.5 640 600 13
Co
7091-T6511 6.5 Zn, 2.5 Mg, 1.5 Cu, 0.4 675 640 10
Co
7075-T6 5.6 Zn, 2.5 Mg, 1.6 Cu, 0.23 570 505 11
Cr
Room Temp Axial Fatigue Strength
of P/M Vs. I/M Extrusions
High modulus / low density Al-alloys
• Both lithium (Li) and beryllium (Be) will increase the modulus and reduce
the density of al-alloys.
• Solid solubility in aluminum is relatively low and alloy contents in
conventional wrought alloys are generally limited to about 2-3% for Li,
while Be itself seldom appears. The solubility limits for Li and Be in Al are
4.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
• P/M allows these limits to be overridden by mechanically alloying
excessive amounts of Be and/or Li powders with aluminum to provide
impressive mechanical properties and stiffness/weight ratios.
• The alloy Al-20.5% Be, 2.4% Li boasts a yield strength of 480 MPa,
ultimate strength 530 MPa, ductility 3.3 EL%, elastic modulus 123 GPa,
with a density of 2.3 g/cm3.
Other P/M alloys
• Other alloys have been developed that take advantage of mechanically
alloying elements in far greater concentration than is possible with
conventional metallurgy.
• The Boeing company developed alloy 644B with 3.2% Li, 1% Cu, 0.5%
Mg, and 0.5% Zr with a density of 2.54 g/cm3.
• The zirconium content of this alloy is 3 times the maximum possible in
conventional processing. Zirconium is a key element for precipitation
hardening in Al-Li alloys
• This Zr helps to drive the yield strength of this alloy to 420 MPa and
tensile strength to 520 MPa while providing a ductility of about 7 EL%.
P/M Tungsten Lightbulb
Filament: 500 hrs at 2500°C
Wire is creep resistant, note facets on close-up are evaporated W.