Consolidating manufacturing plants

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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.Interaction between the material and the energy that produces the consolidation is a key feature of the process.This interaction can be either beneficial or detrimental to the final product.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.An important characteristic of powder is its high surface area to volume ratio, which leads to behavior that lies between that of a solid and that of a fluid.Powders will flow under gravity to fill containers or die cavities, so in this sense they behave like liquids.

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The iron-neodymium-boron alloy system offers exceptional hard magnetic properties.

Since this system exhibits segregation in casting, powder-based techniques using rapid solidification are the mainstay fabrication approaches.

Powder processing starts with particles having specific attributes of size, shape, packing, and composition and converts them into a strong, precise, high-performance component.

Key process steps include the shaping or compaction of the particles and thermal bonding of the particles using sintering.

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