Sintering Parameters

Densification for a metallurgically sound part by sintering is determined by sintering temperature, time at temperature, and atmosphere composition. To ensure that metallurgical properties are not compromised, limits on the process inputs are normally established. General part categories, based on material and finished part application, are determined, and limits put on each of these categories. For example, the degree of sinter must be significantly better for structural parts such as gears compared to lightly stressed spacers.

When engineering the process for a new part, baseline, or trial, parameters are normally established. These settings are comfortably above the established minimums for the part category. This allows for minor adjustments during the initial sample process. Adjustments are sometimes needed to ensure that the required mechanical and physical properties are achieved.

Once the production parameters are established, it is best if they are kept nearly constant. Trying to use sintering to compensate for material or compacting variations leads to a high degree of run-to-run metallurgical variation and can contribute to part failures.

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