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.
PM-12 International Conference & Exhibition on New Vistas in Particulate Materials Technology & 38th Annual Technical Meeting of PMAI
Following on from a successful PM-11 event which was held at one of India’s ‘Auto hubs’, PM-12 was held in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, and generated even greater support. Some 225 delegates participated from academic institutes, research and development organisations, PM and end user industries.
PM-12 included by far the largest exhibition the PMAI has organised, and was opened by Antonio Casellas, Vice President Global Operations, GKN Sinter Metals, Germany. A total of 23 companies exhibited their powders, components and equipment, with the exhibition once again proving popular with attendees.
As the conference was devoted to the ‘new vistas’ in particulate materials, a wide variety of subjects were discussed in a total of 18 plenary talks, 52 technical papers and six presentations in a PIM session.
The prestigious ‘Fellow of PMAI Award’ (FPMAI) was presented to Dr S. Ashok of Höganäs India, Mohan Gore of Ceramet India / Ceramet Consultants Pvt. Ltd, and Bijoy Sarma past president of PMAI, for their excellent contributions to the PMAI and powder metallurgy in India in the areas of powder production, equipment development and research & development.
Plenary and technical sessions – Day one
The plenary sessions began with a presentation from Prof. Graham Schaffer, University of Queensland, Australia, who discussed the sintering of Aluminum with special reference to the intricacies involved in the control of dew point and gas circulation.
Antonio Casellas, GKN Sinter Metals, emphasised the importance of a thorough knowledge of the competing technologies prior to designing the components by PM. He commented that use of presses with closed loop control system is essential for the realisation of new and hither to not possible complex geometries in the components. François Chagnon, QMP Powders Rio Tinto, Canada, stressed the importance of particle morphology and particle size distribution in controlling the green strength and hence the dimensional change during sintering. Mr V. Srinivasn of Höganäs India illustrated the growing importance of PM in energy and environment related applications.
In the second plenary session Dr Brian James of Hoeganaes Corporation USA discussed the evolution of manganese steels free from copper and nickel that can be sintered at 1120°C. N. Gopinath of Fluidtherm Technology stressed the need for temperature uniformity and higher purity of gas in the sintering of aluminum as compared to those employed in sintering of steels. He presented novel furnace designs that take care of these aspects as well as designs that are cost effective in steam treatment.
Narsi Chandrachud of GKN Sinter Metals Pvt. Ltd, India, discussed the importance of induction hardening of PM structural components in avoiding oil impregnation and removal and in achieving surface hardness as well as in use of lower cost iron-copper-carbon steels as opposed to employing expensive alloys. Shalendra Porwal of Battelle Science & Technology India Pvt. Ltd stressed the need for contract R&D and had discussed several models that have been employed by Battelle. The session ended with Dr Brian James of Hoeganaes Corporation discussing the importance of using binder treated powders in warm compaction processes. He also discussed the advances made in improving the apparent densities of binder treated powders.
The first day finished with delegates enjoying a scenic tour of Mumbai, from the conference venue to the Gateway of India at the other side of the city. After the city tour delegates enjoyed a Dinner Cruise, sponsored by Star Sintered Products, in order to celebrate 25 years of sintered component manufacturing at the Indian company.
Technical sessions – Day two
The second day began with the R. V. Tamhankar memorial lecture given by Dr T. L. Prakash, Director, Center for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET). He discussed various initiatives in particulate materials, with special reference to high purity tantalum, niobium, zirconium and hafnium powders as well as various facilities available for production powders and their characterization.
The P. R. Roy memorial lecture was delivered by Dr A. K. Suri, Director of materials group Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), where he discussed a range of particulate materials and products required in fission systems.
Dr T. R. Rama Mohan, Consultant, India, while delivering the S. L. N. Acharyulu Memorial award lecture, predicted that the future of PM belongs to binder assisted forming of large shapes from powders by casting, extrusion, injection moulding, forging and rolling. These shapes will be increasingly used in energy generation and in environmental pollution control, he stated. Dr G. Sundararajan Director International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) presented the work carried out at ARCI on the development of nano powders and subsequent nanostructured coatings.
Jean-Marie Pierson, DORST Technologies GmbH, Germany, illustrated the use of multi level tools in servo driven compaction presses and compared the performance with existing press systems. François Chagnon QMP Powders Rio Tinto, Canada, presented the sintering behaviour of diffusion bonded steel powder with varying carbon content and cooling rates and found the latter to be effective in achieving high tensile strength. Dr S. Ashok of Höganäs India traced the PM component development to the development of several tailor made innovative powders. Dr A. N. Tiwari Professor (retd.) IIT Bombay discussed the metallurgical aspects related to PM gears while Dr Malobika Karanjai pointed out the future trends in the design of friction materials for clutch and brake applications.
A special session on Powder Injection Moulding was held, where the principles and processes were discussed by Prof. Parag Bhargava, IIT Bombay. Catamould technology was presented by Prashant G. Joshi, BASF India, and new developments in injection moulding of metals and ceramics by Michel Godin, MATE Materials and Technology Consulting Ltd, China.
Dr Sachin Laddha of Battelle Science & Technology India Pvt. Ltd illustrated the intricacies involved in the processing of ceramic micro arrays through PIM technique. Two research papers presented on feedstock preparation using electrolytic iron powders and on analysis of solvent debinding process concluded the session.
After the poster session the delegates were entertained with a Bharata Natyam (Classical Indian Dance) recital followed by dinner.
Technical sessions – Day three
On the third and final day some 52 research papers were presented in two parallel sessions devoted to ‘Metallics’ and ‘Ceramics & Composites’. Greg Lavallee Executive Director, QMP Powders Rio Tinto, Canada, Chaired the concluding session, addressed the delegates and participated in panel discussion.
PM-12 was sponsored by the following companies:
Höganäs India Pvt. Ltd,
Makin Metal Powders Ltd UK,
Quebec Metal Powders Ltd (Rio Tinto),
SLM Metal Pvt. Ltd India,
Swastik Tungsten Pvt. Ltd India,
Kandoi Metal Powder Mfg. Co Pvt. Ltd India,
P.P.Patel & Company India,
Timcal Graphite and Carbon,
and feedstock manufacturer BASF SE.
Dorst Technologies, GmbH,
Fluidtherm Technology pvt. Ltd India,
Nanjing East Precision Machinery Co. Ltd China,
SMS MEER GmbH
Newmet Pvt. Ltd India
PM Component producers:
GKN Sinter Metals Ltd,
Shivanshu Sintered Products Pvt. Ltd,
Sintbush (India) Pvt. Ltd,
Speciality Sintered Products Pvt. Ltd
Star Sintered Products Pvt. Ltd.
Newmet Pvt. Ltd, India, (press manufacturer) Kandoi Metal Powder Mfg. Co Pvt. Ltd, India and P. P. Patel & Company, India (powder producers) and Battelle, India (corporate R&D and product development organisation), co sponsored the conference.