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Welcome to the POWDER METALLURGY Self-Study Course

A Course on Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials Processing


Description           Course Outline            Instructor            User Policies            FAQs            Sample Video            Registration


This Self-Study Course provides a broad introduction to the fundamental principles of powder metallurgy.  The student will gain an understanding of basic science and engineering as it relates to the technology. Practical applications of metal and alloy behavior, various manufacturing processes, and management objectives will be explored.  This technically in-depth Course provides valuable knowledge for career development. 

A practical understanding of chemistry and physics is beneficial for the comprehension of fundamental principles provided in this course. 

Target Audience
  • Materials Engineers and Technologists
  • Mechanical, Industrial, Manufacturing, Process, and Aerospace Engineers
  • Quality Assurance Engineers and Technologists
  • Management and Overseers of Powder Metallurgy Organizations
Recommended Pre-Requisites 

College level chemistry and physics

Duration of Course

This Course contains thirty (30) pre-recorded segments that average 60 minutes each.  The Course will be open to the student for 6 months from the date of purchase.  

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Course, the student should be able to: 

  • Differentiate manufacturing methods for the production of metal powders
  • Discuss particle morphology: size, shape, characterization
  • Understand the requirements of lubricants and binders
  • Describe common consolidation/shaping processes including conventional press and sinter, metal injection molding, metal additive manufacturing, hot isostatic pressing, roll-forming, powder extrusion 
  • Discuss sintering furnaces and atmospheres
  • Interpret a phase diagram and resulting microstructures
  • Describe post-sintering operations
  • Interpret materials properties
  • Recognize management issues including safety, health, cost, efficiency, markets, and applications
  • Increase their success rate for attaining the Powder Metallurgy Technologist Level I accreditation
Materials Included


  • Powder Metallurgy Design Manual 
  • Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials Processing 
  • Fundamentals of Powder Metallurgy 
  • Standard Test Methods for Metal Powders and Powder Metallurgy Products
Complimentary Certification Examination 
  • Powder Metallurgy Technologist Certification (PMT Level I) 
    Each student will have the opportunity to sit for the PMT examination for free within 18 months of starting the course.  Certification is formal acknowledgement by APMI International that an individual has demonstrated comprehension of a specified body of knowledge encompassing the broad field of powder metallurgy and particulate materials. It promotes high professional standards within this field.
Cost of Course - $1,400 per individual 
                            $1,300 per individual for groups of 6-9 employees
                            $1,000 per individual for groups of 10 or more employees

                                    (Contact Stephanie Schember to register multiple employees.)

This Course contains thirty (30) pre-recorded segments that average 60 minutes each.  Below is a listing of lectures with a short description of goals/objectives that will be defined within the lecture. 

  1. Welcome to Powder Metallurgy: frame of reference; definitions; some history; why we use powders; example processes; example products; some references
  2. Particle Sizing Background: identification of particle size; sampling, dispersion, deagglomeration; manual particle size analysis - microscopy and screening, population vs. mass data
  3. Particle Sizing Analysis: streaming analysis concepts; automated particle size devices - sedimentation, laser light, …; illustrate commercial devices; examine particle size distributions; data presentation
  4. Powder Characterization Tests: particle shape; particle packing tests - apparent, tap, pycnometer; interparticle friction; surface area; internal structure; chemistry
  5. Powder Fabrication: powder fabrication approaches; mechanical techniques - milling, grinding, attritioning, impaction; electrolytic techniques; chemical techniques - decomposition, precipitation, reduction, reaction
  6. Atomization of Melts: gas and water atomization principles; centrifugal atomization; plasma and special atomization; comparison of powders; typical characteristics; nanoscale powders
  7. Powder Microstructure: measures of microstructures; types of microstructures; amorphous, microcrystalline, dendritic; composition effects; kinetics of phase change
  8. Nucleation and Growth: cooling rates in atomization; solidification and spheroidization times; nucleation; growth; heterogeneous nucleation; implications to powder production
  9. Powder Modification and Handling: safe powder handling; agglomeration, deagglomeration; particle packing - bimodal packing, particle size distribution; percolation concepts; make a powder right for the process
  10. Binders and Lubricants: identify polymer additives; show some options; illustrate behavior; give few formulations
  11. Mixing and Blending: mixing versus blending; combine powder with lubricants or binders; agglomeration agents; drying mixing and blending; warm or wet mixing; feedstocks attributes
  12. Shaping by Injection Molding: detail metal powder injection molding; applications; design features; comparative advantages; rationalization shaping vs compaction
  13. Additive and Freeform Fabrication: look at powder techniques - negative shapes (tool cavities), positive shapes (parts); technology options; problems; growth - opportunities and barriers
  14. Other Shaping Processes: beyond powder injection molding - inserts, bimetallic, porous; powder casting - slip, tape, slurry routes; summary on novel processes
  15. Compaction Mechanics: introduce pressing concepts; look at powder behavior - events, wall friction; role of material and powder characteristics; lubrication effect; green density, strength; modeling
  16. Compaction Technology: pressurization modes; press types; tooling and tool motions; novel techniques; cold isostatic compaction; cost of compaction
  17. Binder and Lubricant Removal: examine burnout and other options; illustrate steps and; mechanisms; sort out defect sources; identify atmosphere, temperature role; show options
  18. Single Phase Sintering: sintering definition; solid-state sintering - mechanisms, stages, driving force; initial stage neck growth; intermediate stage densification; final stage pore elimination, grain growth; structure changes
  19. Mixed Phase Sintering: mix powders to form alloys, composites; enhanced and novel sintering – activated, liquid phase, supersolidus; microstructure variants and rules; computer simulations
  20. Sintering Furnaces and Cycles: heating technology - heat transfer, temperature generation, temperature measurement; batch versus continuous; furnace types, styles; cycles, microstructures, and problems
  21. Sintering Atmospheres and Practice: basic reaction thermodynamics; atmosphere options; dimensional control; substrates and supports
  22. Full Density Concepts: combined effects of temperature and pressure; amplified stress (effective pressure versus applied pressure); processes - yielding, plastic flow, diffusion, creep; densification options
  23. Full Density Techniques: illustrate options; equipment and operation; operating parameters; advantages, limitations; products
  24. Secondary Operations and Finishing: steps after sintering, densification; add value and meet specifications; traditional manufacturing; difficulties from pores – contaminants, cutting tool wear
  25. Microstructures: microstructures and preparation; measure characteristics; examples of PM materials; problem solving using microstructures
  26. Property Measurement: standard tests; unique tests involving porosity; mechanical properties; surface related properties; corrosion, wear; magnetic and other properties
  27. Materials and Properties: overview of materials; introduce industry standards; categorization of properties; examples of solutions; role of porosity
  28. Cost, Efficiency, Health, Safety, Quality: overview process costs; component rationalization to process; feature based decisions; material, energy, time, and other metrics; health and safety comments; quality programs
  29. Markets and Applications: introduce competitive aspects; show examples – captive, competitive; emphasize range of applications; example design for application Mo-Cu
  30. Process and Design Trends: overview directions; show growth examples – materials, applications, processes; quickly examine properties, performance, cost

Professor Randall M. German

Rand German is Research Professor at San Diego State University, previously serving as dean of engineering research.

His PhD degree in Materials is from the University of California – Davis, following a MS in Metallurgical Engineering from The Ohio State University and BS in Materials Science and Engineering from San Jose State University. He is recognized as a distinguished alumnus from all three universities.
Rand held chaired professorships at Rensselaer Polytechnic, Penn State, and Mississippi State, and in the latter two positions headed large research centers, directing efforts funded at $59 million. He has authored more than a thousand articles, 21 books, and 25 patents, while being involved in forming twelve companies. Rand is recognized by professional organizations around the world and is a Fellow of three technical societies including APMI International.

User Agreement

To purchase a Self-Study Course, you must have a registered account with MPIF and be able to log into your account using your username and password. When you place your order, you are committing to the terms and conditions for the Course. All Intellectual Property Rights in the Course, including but not limited to the Course materials, such as publications and videos, are, and remain, the intellectual property of MPIF. You are not authorized to:

  • copy, modify, reproduce, re-publish, sub-license, sell, upload, broadcast, post, transmit or distribute any of the Course materials 
  • record on video or audio tape, relay by videophone or other means the Course 
  • use the Course materials in the provision of any other course or training
  • remove any copyright or other notice of MPIF on Course materials
  • modify, adapt, merge, translate, disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer (save to the extent permitted by law) any software forming part of the Course

*Note: Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or exhibition of copyrighted media, such as publications, videos, and images. 

Breach of the above shall allow us to immediately terminate these terms and conditions with you and cease to provide you with any services, including but not limited to access to the Course. 

In consideration of the fees paid by you, we grant to you limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive permission to use the Course materials for the sole purpose of completing the online Course.

MPIF is not responsible for registering you for the PMT Certification examination. It is your responsibility to ensure that you apply prior to the relevant closing date for the examination, should you desire to take the examination.

Recommended Computer and Internet Requirements per Vimeo 

The Vimeo website and player are supported on most popular desktop and mobile platforms. We strongly recommend keeping your device’s operating system and browser as up-to-date as possible to avoid any bugs or potential security vulnerabilities.

The quality of your video playback experience is largely dependent on the download speed you have from your internet service provider (ISP). Keep in mind that your overall internet speed can vary depending on many factors, including but not limited to, the time of day, Wi-Fi performance, other devices/users utilizing your connection, and the strength of the signal provided by your ISP.

Below you will find minimum requirements for accessing vimeo.com and playing the Course videos.

Download Speeds 

  • 10 Mbps minimum download bandwidth
  • Hardwired ethernet connections are preferred over wireless (Wi-Fi or cellular)
  • Test your Internet speed using a service such as www.speedtest.net 

Desktop OS and Browser 
The following browsers and versions on Windows 7 or later or macOS Sierra (10.12.6) or later:

  • Chrome 30+ (has automatic updates)
  • Firefox 27+ (has automatic updates)*
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari 9+ 

*H.264 video (required for viewing Vimeo videos) is only supported in Firefox for Windows 7 and later. Firefox versions on Windows XP are no longer supported for playback.

Firewalls and whitelisted domains
Ensure the following ports are open on your network for playback:

  • TCP/UDP 80 (HTTP)
  • TCP/UDP 443 (HTTPS)

In addition, if you are on a corporate network (office, university, hotel, etc.) that restricts access to certain websites or domains, you should have the following domains whitelisted:

  • *.vimeo.com
  • *.vimeocdn.com
  • *.magisto.com
  • *.akamaized.net
  • *.cloudfront.net 

All Self-Study Course purchases are considered final.  However, a full refund may be provided if requested in writing to MPIF within 14 days of purchase of a Course, provided the Course materials had not been accessed more than one time during that 14-day period.   


Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or suitability of any information in the presentation(s)/course and related materials (such as books, videos, presentation documents, and recordings); all such content is provided to registrants on an “as is” basis. MPIF HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES and Conditions Express Implied Statutory or Otherwise REGARDING THE CONTENTS OF THESE MATERIALS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ALL WARRANTIES OF TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  MPIF is not liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in any way related to this information provided by presenters. MPIF hereby disclaims all liability for any claims, losses, or damages of any kind in connection with use or application of these materials. The information contained in the presentation(s)/course and related materials is not intended to constitute legal professional or technical advice or the rendering of professional services of any kind. Advice received via the MPIF presentation(s)/course, recordings, and related materials, should not be relied upon for personal, medical, legal or financial decisions and you should consult an appropriate professional for specific advice tailored to your situation.

Question: Will I receive Continuing Education Units (CEU) for this course?
Answer: You will not receive CEUs for this course. However, you will have the opportunity to take the APMI International Powder Metallurgy Technologist (PMT) Certification examination, and if you are successful, you will be able to add the suffix “PMT” to your credentials. 

Question: How long do I have to take the course?
Answer: The course is approximately 30 hours.  From the date of purchase, the student will have 6 months to complete the course.  

Question: Will I be able to discuss questions with the instructor?
Answer: The course is a recording and there is no interaction with the instructor.

Question: When am I allowed to take the PMT Certification examination?
Answer: The student has 18 months from the date of purchase to take the PMT Level I examination.  APMI International offers the examination twice per year, typically the first week in April and October.  For more information, visit www.APMIInternational.org. 

Question: Can I record or share my course?
Answer: Prior to purchasing the course, you will be required to agree that you will be the only viewer of the course and will not share, copy, or record the course.  

Question: Do I receive a handout of the course?  
Answer: The entire course is virtual, and no handouts will be made available.  You will receive e-publications of textbooks and standard testing methods.  

Question: How do I watch the presentations?  
Answer: Once you've registered (with the button at the top of this page), you will be enrolled in the course and will receive an email confirmation within 24 business hours of registration.  You will then see a new button at the top of this page that says "Course Videos".  Click on this to link to view the course content.