Sintering Furnaces for Powder Metallurgy
Sintering furnaces are widely available for a broad range of processing and manufacturing applications in which a material must be carefully densified through sustained stages of heating. Mineralogical deposits are commonly formed through natural sintering, where atomic diffusion causes particles in geological samples to fuse into high-density ore. Understanding of this reaction has informed modern powder metallurgy processes, allowing for the formation of finely-tuned compact metal products with elements featuring extreme melting points, such as tungsten (W).
Working Principle of Sintering Furnaces
Sintering furnaces for powder metallurgy most commonly use a solid-state sintering methodology, which involves compacting a metal in powder form into a thermally-resistant mold and heating it for extended periods. The powder must not be heated to the point of melting, instead it must be kept under sustained temperatures to encourage powder particles to diffuse into one another, forming crystalline bonds. This results in a solid material mass with exceptionally dense, high-strength mechanical properties.
Considering powder metallurgy is usually concerned with bonding high-strength metals that feature extremely high melting points, sintering furnaces must be developed with heating chambers capable of reaching refractory temperatures with high degrees of temperature control and heating uniformity. Tungsten (W), for example, features the highest melting point of all pure metals; 6192°F (3422°C). To create formable tungsten alloys, tungsten powder can be fused with powdered nickel (Ni), which greatly reduces the sintering temperature to 2191°F (1200°C).
Extended sintering of metal alloys at temperatures exceeding 2191°F requires exceptionally energy efficient batch sintering furnaces equipped with refractory heating elements and incredibly thermally-resistant insulation. These components enable high-temperature sintering for various powder metallurgy reactions and optimize furnace throughout by effectively insulating machinery from its own rigorous production conditions.
Sintering Furnaces from Thermcraft
Thermcraft are international-leading developers, manufacturers, and suppliers of exceptional thermal processing equipment for a broad range of commercial and industrial applications. We have developed multiple sintering furnaces for various processes, with several heated zone chambers and heating ranges of up to 3272°F (1800°C).
Alongside our range of pre-configured furnaces, we offer bespoke thermal processing equipment which is unique to clients’ specifications. We are experienced in manufacturing both large-scale sintering furnaces and smaller, analytical units for laboratory purposes. Our equipment is fully customizable, with automation processes, atmospheric controls, and more available upon request.