Metal Powder Industries Federation

Conventional Powder Metallurgy Process

The powder metallurgy (PM) process, depicted in the diagram below, consists of mixing elemental or alloy powders, compacting the mixture in a die, and then sintering, or heating, the resultant shapes in a controlled-atmosphere furnace to bond the particles metallurgically.

Most powder metallurgy parts weigh less than 5 pounds (2.27 kg), although parts weighing as much as 35 pounds (15.89 kg) can be fabricated in conventional PM equipment. While many of the early PM parts, such as bushings and bearings, were very simple shapes, today's sophisticated powder metallurgy process produces components with complex contours and multiple levels and does so quite economically.

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