Designing for Powder Metallurgy

design-for-PM

A selection of award winning PM components that show the designs that are possible when using press/sinter PM (Courtesy JPMA)

Although Powder Metallurgy technology offers considerable design freedoms, there are a number of “dos” and “don’ts” to be borne in mind when designing a product with the process in mind.

These are highlighted in the following guidelines:-

Aspect ratio

The aspect ratio (i.e. length to width ratio) – the density variations created by friction effects between the powder feedstock and the tooling mean that, even with double-ended compaction, aspect ratio should be limited to no more than 3:1.

Re-entrant features

Re-entrant features such as grooves, reverse tapers or lateral holes, cannot be directly formed by Powder Metallurgy as they would prevent the part from being ejected from the die. If needed, such features would have to be introduced by machining of the sintered part.

Bevels

Bevels would require feather-edged punches, which should be avoided. If possible, a bevelled edge should end in a small flat, thus avoiding the feather edge.

Chamfers

Chamfers are preferred to radii on component edges, again to avoid the need for feather-edged punches

Abrupt changes in section

Abrupt changes in section should be avoided as they introduce stress raisers that can lead to cracking due to springback in ejection.

Sharp corners

Radii rather than sharp corners in the plan view section should be incorporated, again to avoid stress raisers.

 

 

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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.

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