In the first of a series of exclusive reports, Professor Ramamohan Tallapragada, PM consultant, Mumbai, India, provides an overview of the conference for ipmd.net. Further technical reports will look in detail at some of the key presentations made during the event.
India’s PM association provides a warm welcome
The President of the Powder Metallurgy Association of India (PMAI), Mr P N S Sivan, gave a welcome address to over 250 delegates at the sixth international conference organised by the PMAI and held in Pune, India. During his speech he traced the history and developments of the PMAI since its conception in 1973, stating that the main focus of the PMAI is to promote powder metallurgy among students, the general public and OEM’s. The association organises short training courses, plant practice sessions, national and international conferences. The size of the PMAI has now grown to 500 life members, he stated.
Conference Chairman, Prof P Ramakrishnan, attributed the success of the previous conferences by the PMAI as the main reason for the current sixth International Conference and Exhibition. He discussed powder metallurgy and particulate materials in detail, stressing the need to focus on cost effective solutions through PM.
Dr Cesar Molins, Director General of AMES SA, Barcelona, Spain and current Vice President and former President of the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) opened the conference. Dr Molins examined the trends in PM applications and analysed likely changes in technology in the future. He discussed the new markets that are opening up to PM, particularly for hardmetals and tool steels. He illustrated how special alloys and forming technologies have a major impact on living standards such as aviation and medical devices. Even energy mining and oil exploration now have a widened demand, he added.
Mr Hemant Nighojkar, Managing Director, GKN Sinter Metals Pvt. Ltd., Pune, opened the trade exhibition in which 21 companies from India, China, Germany, Sweden, Japan, France, Switzerland and Canada showcased their products and technological innovations in powder metallurgy. The conference had fourteen sponsors and three co-sponsors from India and abroad.
The Annual Fellow of the PMAI award, presented for distinguished services to the PMAI and PM in India, was given to Dr Cesar Molins, AMES SA, Spain, Mr P M Agarwal, SLM Metal P Ltd, a prominent powder producer in India, and to Dr R Sundaresan, posthumously for his invaluable contributions to PM and the PMAI.
The PMAI presented the ‘Best Product’ award to GKN Sinter Metals Pvt. Ltd., Pune, for their ‘Gas Tight Main Bearing’ for use in a rotary compressor. The component was displayed at the GKN stand in the exhibition, allowing delegates a better view of this innovative product.
The paper entitled “Effect of Dilution by iron on sintered properties of M3/2” by J Surywanshi, A Manwatkar and N B Dhokey of the College of Engineering Pune, India, won the award for ‘Best Student Paper’ related to industrial research.
Technical sessions – Day 1
The plenary session of the three day conference began with a presentation by Mr S R Sundaram, Pricol Ltd., India, who reviewed the global PM market and suggested that future trends would be towards achieving high density and high performance components.
The session continued with a presentation by Mr N Nagarjuna, Höganäs AB, Sweden, who considered high strength, light weight, low friction and cost effectiveness as future requirements of auto Components. Mr Jose Correa Neto of Metaldyne, USA, then explained the factors that lead to increasing usage of sinter forged connecting rods in automobiles and other new higher strength materials.
A presentation from Tata Motors, India’s largest auto manufacturer and owner of Jaguar and Land Rover, was given by Mr Sudhir Panse, who discussed how OEM’s can utilise the untapped potential of PM. Panse revealed various PM components that are currently used and components and their production technologies that are going to be used in the future.
Dr Henning Zoz, Zoz GmbH, Germany, illustrated a plethora of wide ranging particulate materials developed by Zoz group such as Zentallium® an Al-base composite material with mechanical properties similar to common steel, nano structured H2-storage solid state materials and systems, phosphate based Li-Ion Batteries (ZoLiBat®) which are expected to be used in the first H2-driven vehicles (H2-Isigo®) in early April 2011.
Presentations by Mr Edul Daver, ACuPowder LLC, USA, Mr S N Desmukh, NTB Hightech Ceramics, Pune, Mr N Chandrachud, GKN Sinter Metals Pvt. Ltd. Pune, Dr S Ashok, Höganäs India, Mr Venkata Subramanian of Nathan and Nathan consultancy pvt. Ltd, Dr Anders Flodin, Höganäs AB, Sweden, Mr Eckart Schneider Höganäs AB, Sweden, Ms Laetitia Brun, Höganäs AB, Sweden and Mr N Chandrachud, GKN Sinter Metals Pvt. Ltd., Pune, completed Thursday’s technical programme.
The first day ended with a cultural programme and dinner at the scenic Aquarius resort on the banks of Khadakvasla Lake. Delegates were entertained with a traditional Lavani folk dance performed by dancers from Maharashtra. The mood and tone to relax soon followed and the delegates joined in the festivities and ‘shook a leg’ to Bollywood music!
Technical sessions – Day 2
Friday’s plenary session (4th February) was opened by Mr Jerome Sabathier, Ochio Imaging Solutions, France, who explained the importance of image analysis in studying particle size shape and morphology. Dr Sanjay Basu, Sandvik Asia Ltd, Pune, delivered the R V Tamhankar memorial lecture about how the R&D laboratories at Pune have become a global PM R&D hub for hard materials and powders.
Dr G J Prasad, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai, as part of P R Roy memorial lecture, discussed the processing of metallic, ceramic and composite fuels for different types of nuclear reactors built in India. The S L N Acharyulu memorial award lecture, newly established by the International Advanced Research for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) in Hyderabad, was given by Dr G Malakondaiah, Director, Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratories (DMRL), Hyderabad, on strategic applications developed at DMRL using powder metallurgy.
Mr N Gopinath, Fluidtherm Technology P. Ltd, Chennai, discussed developments in energy efficient furnaces for high temperature sintering, sinter hardening, rapid quenching and steam treatment with emphasis on cost reduction.
The day continued with presentations by Ms Laetitia Brun, Höganäs AB, Sweden, Mr Amitav Sen, Höganäs India Ltd, Dr Dmytro Federov, Fluidtherm Technology Pvt. Ltd, Chennai, Dr Sylvain St-Laurent, QMP Powders, Canada, and Dr B S Murthy, IIT Madras.
A poster session was held after lunch, followed by three parallel technical sessions on Metallics, Ceramics and Composites, and the PM Industry.
The PM session began with a presentation by Mr Lutz Lakner, Dorst Technologies GmbH, Germany, where he presented developments in compaction technology and discussed the characteristics of a new press with an electrical servo drive system. Mr Alex Wehril and Mr Markus Eismann, Osterwalder AG, Switzerland, then discussed the advantages of powder compaction using a press with controlled and freely configurable horizontal axes.
Finally, Mr Luigi Alzati, Timcal Ltd, Switzerland, presented various types of graphite, discussing their characterisation and applicability in sintered steels and composites.
The sessions ended on a high note, with dinner and an entertainment programme presented by the students of the Government College of Engineering, Pune. This was followed by the delegates getting foot loose and fancy free once again, until they meet at next year’s PMAI conference!
Technical sessions – Day 3
Parallel technical sessions continued through the pre lunch session of Saturday (5th February 2011), the last day of the conference.
During the PM session Dr Kerim Emre Oksuz, Cumhuriyet Universitesi, Turkey, discussed the effect of boron carbide additions on properties of diamond tools in an iron cobalt metal matrix. Dr Adem Kurt, Gazi University, Turkey, discussed the stud welding of PM aluminium plates in particular the effect of current density. Dr Anish Upadhyaya, IIT Kanpur, presented the effect of nickel and graphite additions on the sintering characteristics of iron.
The afternoon saw a session on metal injection moulding (MIM) conducted by the main speakers, Dr Ramamohan Tallapragada, PM consultant, Mumbai, Ms Stephanie Schneider, PolyMIM, GmbH, Germany and Mr N Gopinath, Fluidtherm Technology P. Ltd, Chennai. This was followed by panel discussion and vote of thanks.
A special mention must also be made about the Power of Powder (POP) seminar organised by Höganäs India Pvt. Ltd on 2nd February 2011. The company demonstrated the effectiveness of its systems approach from powder to PM component assemblies, together with the help of designers and press, tooling, and furnace manufacturers.
Information about the Powder Metallugy Association of India (PMAI) can be found here www.pmai.in
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