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Indian Researchers Produce Low-Cost Technique for Metal AM Powders


Photo courtesy of the Indian Institute of Science.

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)  has identified an alternative process to produce metal powders. Led by Department of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Koushik Viswanathan, the researchers state that abrasion produced metal powders are excellent candidates for high-performance applications such as in aircraft engines and biomedical implants.

In the metal grinding industry, the material removed is often discarded as a waste product. It is commonly stringy in shape, like metal chips, but it often occurs as spherical particles, according to IISc.

Viswanathan’s team showed that these spherical particles form as a result of melting due to high heat from oxidation at the surface layer. The researchers refined the process to produce large quantities of spherical powders, which are collected and processed further for use in AM. Their research claims the metal powder performs just as well as commercial gas atomized powders.

Priti Ranjan Panda, a PhD student at IISc’s Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing reported, “We have an alternative, more economical and inherently scalable route for making metal powders and the quality of the final powders appear to be very competitive when compared with conventional gas atomized powders.”

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