Metal Processing

04 Mar.,2023


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What is Metal Sintering

Metal sintering is a metal fabrication process that uses metal powders along with heat and pressure to facilitate atomic diffusion and bonding between different materials. This process allows you to alter the molecular structure of your materials and permanently bind them together.

Atomic diffusion occurs when atoms within a solid heat up and begin randomly vibrating, which causes them to travel through the material until they can cool down. For example, helium balloons slowly deflate because the helium atoms diffuse through the balloon wall and escape, leaving behind denser air molecules that sink. The rate of diffusion depends on the atom’s ability to diffuse and the severity of the concentration gradient.

Essentially, when you heat a metal to just below its melting point, molecules move slightly and form bonds with adjacent grains. This forms joints, or “necks,” between the grains, which creates a more rigid microstructure. Sintering can be used with most metals, but pure metals with minimal surface contamination yield the best results.

What Is the Purpose of Sintering?

Sintering enables you to bind materials together into one unified mass without melting them, making it a cost-effective and efficient process . It is also a highly versatile method with various applications across many different industries. Common sintered metal products include:

  • Gears
  • Couplings
  • Bearings and bearing retainers
  • Pulleys
  • Rotors
  • Sprockets
  • Electrical contracts
  • Cams
  • Armatures

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