Consolidating manufacturing plants
The transfer of this technology to industry has been effective through industrial hiring of the university graduates. research is on emerging powder-processing technologies to sustain industrial growth.The important technology areas in powder processing are based on key aspects of the fabrication sequence: development of powder alloys, production of powders, compaction, sintering, densification, process control. Current opportunities for such growth include magnetic materials (especially the high-performance, rapidly solidified iron-neodymium-boron magnets), microelectronic components (such as tungsten-copper parts formed through powder injection molding), functionally gradient composites (for example, metal-ceramic acoustical energy absorbers), electromagnetic materials, and ultra-small biomechanical components.In some cases, the consolidation energy enhances the structure or properties of the material and is an integral part of the process.For example, in the forging of powder preforms, the mechanical energy not only consolidates the powder but also imparts macroscopic geometry to the part while improving the microstructure of the material.The two steps can be combined into a single operation, as in vacuum hot pressing, or more typically, performed in sequence.In production, these processes effectively use automated operations with relatively low energy consumption, high material utilization, and low capital costs.Consolidation processes are employed throughout the manufacturing sequence, from the initial production of the raw material to modification of the final assembly.
This interaction can be either beneficial or detrimental to the final product.These consolidated products are typically semifinished and require final thermal or machining processes.In some material systems, consolidation of powders produces feedstock billets for extensive processing into continuous mill products of bar, rod, wire, plate, or sheet.Consolidation processes consist of the assembly of smaller objects into a single product in order to achieve a desired geometry, structure, or property.These processes rely on the application of mechanical, chemical, or thermal energy to effect consolidation and achieve bonding between objects.