Powder metallurgy

Powder metallurgy (PM) is a term covering a wide range of ways in which materials or components are made from metal powders. PM processes can avoid, or greatly reduce, the need to use metal removal processes, thereby drastically reducing yield losses in manufacture and often resulting in lower costs.

It is very widely used in industry for tools of many types and globally ~50,000 tonnes/year (t/y) is made by PM. Other products include sintered filters, porous oil-impregnated bearings, electrical contacts and diamond tools.

Since the advent of industrial production–scale metal powder–based additive manufacturing (AM) in the 2010s, selective laser sintering and other metal AM processes are a new category of commercially important powder metallurgy applications.

The powder metallurgy press and sinter process generally consists of three basic steps: powder blending (pulverisation), die compaction, and sintering. Compaction is generally performed at room temperature, and the elevated-temperature process of sintering is usually conducted at atmospheric pressure and under carefully controlled atmosphere composition. Optional secondary processing such as coining or heat treatment often follows to obtain special properties or enhanced precision(from WIKIPEDIA)