The European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) has established a new Functional Materials Sectoral Group (EuroFM) with the objective of increasing awareness of the sector, promoting discussion and improving understanding amongst end users, designers, mechanical engineers, metallurgists and students. Formed following the EPMA’s 2018 Functional Materials Seminar in Jülich, Germany, the EuroFM sectoral group is open to members of the trade association who have an interest in this category of materials.
Functional materials can be defined in a number of different ways, but EuroFM’s definition denotes materials which make use of a distinct physical property that they bring to a component, such as magnetism, caloric effects, or electronic conductivity, for varying functions. Whatever functionality they provide, these materials are key components with regard to targeted applications.
The EPMA stated that with a growing understanding of powder-based processes comes an increased desire to implement functionality into components, making functional materials an important aspect of current and future applications and developments. “The creation of the Functional Materials Sectoral Group is a positive step for the EPMA, as these types of components and the applications they are used in could show us what to expect from components of the future,” explained Dr Lionel Aboussouan, the EPMA’s Executive Director and group facilitator.
“When we think of future components made by using the powder metal process, functional, maybe even adaptive materials, where the component has the ability to change a property, such as internal structure, will help to keep PM at the cutting edge of industrial applications,” he added.
The EuroFM group is chaired by Dr Sebastian Hein (Fraunhofer Institut – IFAM) and Mr Peter Kjeldsteen (Sintex a/s). A second Functional Materials Seminar will take place from April 3-4, 2019, in Bremen, Germany.
Discover more about functional materials in the Summer 2018 issue of PM Review magazine