Sintered metal components begin as powder compacts heated in a furnace to fuse the grains, forming hard, usable finished products. These intricate and complex-shaped parts are prevalent in multiple industries, including aerospace, agricultural, automotive, electronics, medical, and consumer goods.
The sintering process works with various metals and alloys and is frequently used to produce many part types. However, finding the appropriate sintered components can be challenging, and those who purchase or use them should be familiar with the technique.
This article will discuss the advantages of sintering and several tips for finding the right sintered metal parts for your application.
Benefits of Sintering
Sintering is the process of applying heat to a formed component. After it has been completed, the metal particles are fused, and the structural rigidity of the element is attained.
In addition to transforming metal powder into a solid mass, sintering also provides the following benefits:
- Allows for the fabrication of metal components with high levels of repeatability
- Creates highly complex shapes
- Is cost-effective, particularly when fabricating large quantities of metal parts
- Manufactures components with high magnetism and porosity
- Enables manufacturers to produce large quantities of parts with tight tolerances
- Increases the metal part’s durability
- Generates minimal waste, with roughly 97% of the starting material used to create a part
- Reduces production costs due to less waste
Tips for Finding the Right Sintered Metal Parts
Over the years, sintering has become one of the most prevalent metal-forming processes. However, given the market’s abundance of manufacturers producing sintered metal parts, selecting the most suitable one for your project can take time and effort.
Here are four tips to guide you in finding the right metal parts:
Identifying the Application of the Metal Part
Sintered metal products apply to various industries and applications. Therefore, it is essential to determine where the metal component will be utilized or what part must be sintered.
Here are some of the common uses of metal sintering:
- Bearing retainers
- Custom bearings
- Electrical contacts
- And many others!
Selecting the Best Material for Sintering
A wide variety of metals can be sintered to create various products and parts that meet the exact requirements of a project. Furthermore, powders can be combined to create unique and durable alloys.
Common materials used for sintered components include:
- Carbon steel
- Copper and copper alloys
- Hardened steels
- Iron-copper alloys
- Iron-nickel alloys
- Low-alloy steels
- Nickel steel
- Soft magnetic alloys
- Stainless steel
- And more!
Determining the Need for Secondary Processing
In some instances, a sintered metal part must be modified by secondary processes to improve its characteristics. For example, Gear rolling for higher tooth density and tolerance control. Copper infiltration for improved strength of components. Oil impregnation for lubricating properties and corrosion resistance. Steam treating for sealing and corrosion resistance. Various plating for improved surface properties or sealing parts for critical applications. Machining for more complex designs or features not able to be originally compacted.
Parts that have been sintered may also undergo tempering, , deburring, machining, and sizing as secondary processes. Particularly, sintered components with extremely tight tolerances — such as bushings and bearings — are frequently subjected to secondary sizing procedures.
Partnering With a Reliable Powder Metallurgy Manufacturer
A powder metallurgy manufacturer will always adhere to the customer’s specifications. However, involving your manufacturer in the design process could significantly optimize your component.
In addition, reliable powder metallurgy manufacturers can steer you toward reasonably priced, high-performance sintering options. They can also help reduce manufacturing costs without compromising the performance of your metal part.
Allied Sinterings: Your Trusted Custom Manufacturer of Powdered Metal Products
Allied Sinterings has provided high-quality powdered and sintered metal products to our customers in various industries for over six decades! We take pride in our long-standing business relationships and reputation as a dependable company.
We are the first company in our industry to obtain ISO 9000 certification, and we continue to utilize our accreditation as a valuable business tool. For more information, contact us today, and we will be happy to assist you with your needs.