Keywords: tantalum powder, tungsten powder
Powder metallurgy (PM) is a term covering a wide range of ways in which materials or components are made from metal powders. PM processes can reduce or eliminate the need for subtractive processes in manufacturing, lowering material losses and reducing the cost of the final product.
Powder metallurgy is also used to make unique materials impossible to get from melting or forming in other ways. A very important product of this type is tungsten carbide (WC). WC is used to cut and form other metals and is made from WC particles bonded with cobalt. It is very widely used in industry for tools of many types and globally ~50,000 tonnes/year (t/y) is made by PM. Other products include sintered filters, porous oil-impregnated bearings, electrical contacts and diamond tools.
Since the advent of industrial production–scale metal powder–based additive manufacturing (AM) in the 2010s, selective laser sintering and other metal AM processes are a new category of commercially important powder metallurgy applications.