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Compression and Sintering of Powder Mixtures: Experiments and Modelling

Abstract : In numerous industrial fields, materials are manufactured from powders. The most classical process consists in pouring the powder into a die and pressing in between two punches. The resulting component can be used in this state, as in the pharmaceutical industry. But, most often, for example in powder metallurgy or ceramic processing, it is submitted to a thermal treatment, called sintering, during which the particles are welded together. These two stages, compaction and sintering, have been extensively investigated in the last decades. The main physical mechanisms arising during both stages have been identified and more or less sophisticated models have been developed. However most of these studies have concerned single-component powders whereas industrial processes more frequently use mixtures of powders with different physical and mechanical. The interest of using mixtures instead of single-component powders may be to facilitate the compaction or the sintering or to create alloys or composite materials with outstanding features. Understanding and modelling the behavior of powder mixtures require taking into account the mechanical and chemical interactions between both phases. Concerning mechanical problems, in most cases, a simple law of mixture is not appropriate. Classical models of multiphase materials hardly give better results. Accounting for the granular nature of the material is thus absolutely necessary. Relevant issues are interparticle contacts, particle rearrangement, agglomeration, phase percolation. The compressibility of bimodal mixtures, for example, is mainly related with the ratio of the size of particles of one phase to the size of particles of the other phase. Chemical phenomena involve more or less complex phase transformations and chemical reactions. Such transformations or reactions usually occur during sintering but they can also be generated when the material is still in the powder state, for example during milling. Most research studies in the field of powder processing at the Federation concern powder mixtures. Three examples are presented in the following, illustrating recent research studies on the behavior of powder mixtures during compression or sintering.
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Didier Bouvard, Claude Carry, Jean-Marc Chaix, Christophe Martin, Jean-Michel Missiaen, et al.. Compression and Sintering of Powder Mixtures: Experiments and Modelling. Advanced Engineering Materials, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2001, 3 (8), pp.593-597. ⟨10.1002/1527-2648⟩. ⟨emse-00609789⟩

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