powder metallurgy

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A process in which powdered metals or alloys are pressed into a variety of shapes at high temperatures. The process started with the pressing of powdered tungsten into incandescent lamp filaments in the first decade of this century and is now widely used for making self-lubricating bearings and cemented tungsten carbide cutting tools.

The powders are produced by atomization of molten metals, chemical decomposition of a compound of the metal, or crushing and grinding of the metal or alloy. The parts are pressed into moulds at pressures ranging from 140 × 106 Pa to 830 × 106 Pa after which they are heated in a controlled atmosphere to bond the particles together (see sintering).

Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.

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