Powder metallurgy (PM) has become an advanced manufacturing
technology. Over the years, powder metallurgy has grown by leaps and bounds from its beginning, which involved the manufacture of relatively simple bushings and bearings. Presses can now produce multi-level powder metallurgy parts from very small to very large. The basis of the powder metallurgy process
is making metal parts from metal powders. There are a wide variety of alloys to choose from, ranging from iron, to stainless steel, to brass, and bronze. There are hundreds of standard materials within these broad categories, each with well-defined material properties and processing requirements. New, more-specialized materials are being developed all the time.
At Catalus, we purchase our powders already blended from a select group of suppliers. Our process involves compacting metal powder to a specific density using specially designed tools. A sintering furnace heats the powders to near melting point, and this process bonds the powdered particles together into a desired shape. Certain materials are designed to be heat treated in a secondary operation to further enhance the parts physical properties.