Process Technologies for Powder, Composite, Foam, and Semisolid Product Forms
Aluminum powders can be formed into components by several competing technologies, including powder metallurgy (PM), metal injection molding, powder forging, and additive manufacturing. This article explores PM methodologies that are being exploited to manufacture such components. It reviews emerging technologies that promise to offer exciting ways to produce aluminum parts. The article discusses the various steps involved in PM, such as powder production, compaction, sintering, repressing, and heat treatment. It provides information on aluminum production statistics and the wear-resistance applications of PM.
In general, metal-matrix composites (MMCs) are classified into three broad categories: continuous fiber-reinforced composites, discontinuous or short fiber-reinforced composites, and particle-reinforced composites. This article focuses on stir casting and melt infiltration as the two main methods of MMC solidification processing. It describes the MCC casting methods, such as sand and permanent mold casting, centrifugal casting, compocasting, and high-pressure die casting. The article discusses the MMC infiltration processes in terms of pressure infiltration casting and liquid metal infiltration. It reviews the powder metallurgy processing of aluminum MMCs and deformation processing of discontinuously reinforced aluminum composites. The article concludes with a discussion on the processing of fiber-reinforced aluminum.