Rio Tinto and Metalsinter S.r.l investigate high-performance premixes for Powder Metallurgy

May 29, 2018

Research engineers at Rio Tinto Metal Powders, Canada, and Metalsinter S.r.l, Italy, have been working closely to optimise the compaction stage of the Powder Metallurgy process. In order to increase productivity in component production, the use of a high-performance premix has been reported as a method to increase compaction speed, whilst maintaining excellent surface finishes.

Powder mixes are a complex combination of several key ingredients each of which is required by the PM process. These ingredients include, beyond the base material, powdered additives such as graphite, copper, machining enhancers and lubricants. For a high-performance premix, each ingredient must be selected to enable the production of parts which are the most consistent in weight and size, which sinter cleanly and which can also be used at higher compaction speeds.

In an exclusive article for the Spring 2018 edition of Powder Metallurgy Review (Vol. 7 No.1), Rio Tinto’s Vincent Paris reported on the work being carried out at Rio Tinto and Metalsinter S.r.l, and investigated the selection of lubricants used in high-performance powder mixes.

In his study, Paris investigated the use of three sample powder mixes to compact a water pump pulley manufactured by Metalsinter, each containing high-performance lubricants. The compaction of this part using the three powder mixes was compared to the regular production premix used at Metalsinter for the same part. The objective of the study was to demonstrate how a high-performance premix can increase production rates while maintaining output quality.

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Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Burgess-Norton and Amsted Automotive: How a legacy automotive supplier is growing with, not despite, electrification
  • Meeting sustainability demands in PM: High-temperature sintering of nickel- and copper-free powder mixtures for low alloyed PM parts
  • World PM2022: An overview of the status and trends in the global PM industry
  • A novel approach for the production of metal powders with tailored chemical compositions: Amazemet’s rePowder
  • Productivity, flexibility, reliability: SACMI’s new press technologies for the changing PM industry
  • Understanding the thermal properties of metal powders: Characterisation of powders using the Hot Disk technique
  • World PM2022: Views on the potential of Field Assisted Sintering for advanced materials

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