Sintering is primarily the process of using heat or pressure to compact and form a solid mass without melting the solid to the point of liquefaction. The temperature used for the sintering process is always below the melting point of the major component present in the powdered metal. Sintering is the most widely used process in the powder metallurgy industry as it enhances various properties of metals including electrical conductivity, strength, thermal conductivity and translucency. In addition, sintering also aids in reducing the porosity of the metal. During the process of sintering, the powdered metal particles are bonded through diffusion and the resulting porous body acquires the desired mechanical strength. The process of sintering is governed by various parameters including temperature and time, the composition of the powdered mix, the geometrical structure of various powdered particles, and composition of the atmosphere in the sintering furnace and the density of the powder compact.
The other attributes that are imparted to the powder metal due to sintering are also discussed in this report. During sintering, the powdered metal particles bond through diffusion, thereby imparting mechanical strength to the porous body. Hence, the reason for sintering to be one of the most widely used industrial techniques for a betterment of capabilities of metals. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are ideally suitable for sintering; however, rare earth intermetallic, ceramics, and cermet are also suitable for sintering.
The sintering process is solely driven due to the powder metallurgy industry. Growth of this technology is anticipated to be steady over the next few years. Sintering is a widely used in various end-user industries for the manufacture of sintered parts including the automotive industry, construction industry and the electronics and electrical industry among others. The sintering process imparts some desired properties that the metal lacks. Sintering increases the life of the metal and enhances its strength, conductivity etc. However, other technologies are likely to replace sintering over the next few years due to the harmful effects it causes to the environment and health. Several government regulations on the usage of the sintering process are being implemented. However, technological developments in the sintering industry, has ensured that this process has found a wide range of end user applications in various end user industries.
Asia Pacific will display a robust growth in the sintering process industry during the forecast period, says the report. The flourishing automotive and construction industry in the emerging economies if China, Indonesia, and India are reasons for the same. North America and Europe will register a downward growth trend in the sintering industry due to stringent regulations to monitor harmful emissions using sintering. Some of the key players manufacturing sintered metal parts include GKN Sinter Metals and Pacific Sintered Metals among others.
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