APMI International has announced that it has released its latest self-study course on the Powder Metallurgy sintering process. Presented by Dr Randall German, this graduate-level course emphasises the theory of sintering and includes information on the sintering behaviour of a wide variety of engineered materials, such as metals, alloys, composites, carbides, and intermetallics. The course is targeted towards engineers, technologists, and management in a wide variety of industries.
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This self-study course contains sixteen pre-recorded segments that average sixty minutes each. The parts are structured as follows:
- Introduction: This first session introduces the technology and provides definitions for the process. It will give a sense of where industrial sintering arose, an overview of applications and microstructures and outline growth.
- Events During Sintering: This course covers the stages of sintering, micromechanics including curvature and interfaces, thermodynamic and kinetic factors, and transport mechanisms such as diffusion, vapor, plastic, and viscous flow. Additionally, microstructure evolution is depicted
- Sintering Measurement Tools: Highlights various tools used to measure sintering, and reinforces this by looking at example data and behavior. It also describes typical devices and relates various metrics mathematically, if possible
- Parametric Relations: Interrelations of Sintering Monitors: Discusses the interrelations of sintering monitors and the role of adjustable parameters such as temperature, particle size, time, and heating rate. It also illustrates how monitors provide insight into sintering processes and provides a few examples of under-sintering and over-sintering. Additionally, it covers the use of monitors to identify optimal sintering conditions
- Microstructure Evolution: Defines and illustrates several microstructure features, demonstrates common pathways evident in microstructures, and explains how microstructure parameters are related. It prepares students to understand the connection between properties and microstructure
- Solid State Sintering: Discusses the driving force in porous solids, which is defined as curvature gradients. It also covers the mass transport involved in solid state sintering, including geometric progression and sintering stages. Additionally, mathematical treatments and key relations are presented
- Liquid Phase Sintering: An introduction to solid-liquid sintering options, thermodynamics, phases, solubility, and reactions; micromechanics and kinetics; and microstructure evolution, coarsening, and grain shape; some materials and applications will be mentioned
- Mixed Phase Sintering: Outlines the sintering behavior of composites, including bimodal mixtures, packing and sintering rules, chemical gradients, activated sintering, composition effects, and predictions via the rule of mixtures
- Pressure-Assisted Sintering: Invites students to consider how pressure and temperature can combine to achieve densification. It involves a mechanistic evaluation of diffusion, creep, and plastic flow. This process has a variety of applications, and examples of materials, cycles, and applications will be shown
- Field-Assisted Sintering: Historical remarks on the origin of the idea, the effect of an electric field, example cycles; current practices in materials, cycles, and applications; and application details specific to sintered diamond
- Atmospheres: Identifies roles and options for atmosphere, introduces thermodynamics and reactions; shows positive effects and potential difficulties, atmosphere management, especially for metallic species
- Sintering Hardware: Focuses on heat transport, heat sources, furnaces; types, advantages and drawbacks, conveyance mechanisms, measurement and control options, substrates, etc.
- Behaviour/Properties: examines how sintering links to properties, structural materials, largely mechanical properties, various density, microstructure, composition cases; comment on application-property combinations
- Computer Modelling: Provides justification for modelling, including computer simulation; illustrates early and current models; shows component level (size and shape) predictions, identifies problems and directions in modelling
- Extra Examples: Brings up ‘interesting extra topics’, highlights specific sintering cycles for various materials, comments on anisotropic effect of gravity
- History of Sintering: Provides context for key developments in sintering, including a historical timeline; the building blocks, motivations and technical advances, identification of key actors, materials; and developments
The course instructor, Professor Rand German, is a research professor at San Diego State University. Previously, he served as the dean of engineering research. He holds a PhD in Materials from the University of California – Davis, a MS in Metallurgical Engineering from The Ohio State University, and a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from San Jose State University. He is recognised as a distinguished alumnus from all three universities.
German has held chaired professorships at Rensselaer Polytechnic, Penn State, and Mississippi State. In the latter two positions, he headed large research centres, directing efforts funded at $59 million. He has authored more than a thousand articles, twenty-one books, and twenty-five patents, and has been involved in forming twelve companies. German is recognised by professional organizations around the world and is a Fellow of three technical societies, including APMI International.
Those interested can register for the self-study Powder Metallurgy Sintering Process course here.
The course will be available to the student for three months from the date of purchase and will include e-publications of ‘Sintering Compilation I: Theory & Equipment Related’, ‘Sintering Compilation II: Process Alternatives’, and ‘Sintering Compilation III: Effects on Materials’.