Atlas Pressed Metals explains advantage of copper infiltration in Powder Metallurgy components

May 4, 2020

Microstructure of a copper infiltrated PM part, showing how copper infiltrates open porosity (Courtesy Atlas Pressed Metals)

Atlas Pressed Metals, a producer of Powder Metallurgy parts based in DuBois, Pennsylvania, USA, has published a guide explaining the purpose of copper infiltration in PM components. Components are copper infiltrated for a number of reasons, explains the company; some basic desired results are improvements to tensile strength, hardness, impact properties and ductility. 

Copper-infiltrated components will also have a higher density, the company notes. Other reasons copper infiltration may be of benefit are for wear improvement or to block air/gas flow through an otherwise porous component at temperatures at which the use of a resin would not be practical.

Copper infiltration may also be used to enhance the machining characteristics of PM steel, as copper leaves a smoother machined finish.

How does copper infiltration work?

Atlas went on to explain how copper infiltration works in practice. The base structure of the part to be copper infiltrated will have a known density, which is used to determine the amount of open porosity in the part. 

A measured amount of copper is then selected matching the amount of porosity to be filled. The copper fills the porosity during the sintering process (at temperatures above the melt temperature of copper) simply by placing the copper against the component prior to sintering. 

PM parts assembled with copper slugs ready for sintering (Courtesy Atlas Pressed Metals)

A >1100°C sintering temperature allows for the molten copper to flow into the component porosity through capillary action. Sintering is then completed on a carrier (e.g. ceramic plate) so that the copper stays in the component. Once the part is cooled, the copper is solidified within the structure.

www.atlaspressedmetals.com 

Latest Industry News

Download the latest issue of PM Review

Our latest issue is now available to download in PDF format, free of charge.

  • View PDF

  • As well as an extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news section, this 120-page issue includes the following exclusive articles and reports:

    • Powder Metallurgy has always been green. Now, we need to learn to talk about it
    • 39th Hagen Symposium 2021: Sustainable solutions and new markets for Powder Metallurgy
    • Euro PM2021: A view to CO2 reduction across the Powder Metallurgy workflow
    • How to make metal powders. Part 2: Understanding water atomisation and water atomised powders
    • Gasbarre Products, Inc: Three generations of press and furnace expertise in the heartland of North America’s PM industry
    • More information

    Industry News

    E-newsletter

    Sign up to our free e-newsletter, sent weekly to industry professionals around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of PM Review magazine is available.

    Subscribe for a FREE digital magazine

    PM Review is the leading international magazine for the Powder Metallurgy industry.
    Published four times a year, it is available as a free download or through a print subscription

    Connect with us

    Powder Metallurgy: The original net-shape production process

    Powder Metallurgy components are relied upon by a wide variety of manufacturing industries, from automotive to power tools, household appliances, chemical engineering, filtration and more.

    The main reason for the technology’s success is its cost-effectiveness at producing high volumes of net-shape components, combined with its ability to allow the manufacture of products that, because of the production processes, simply cannot be manufactured by other methods.

    To discover more about how the technology has revolutionised component production, browse our Introduction to Powder Metallurgy.

    Latest industry news

    Copy link