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This chapter introduces the key powder fabrication attributes to assist in the identification of the right powders for an application. First, it describes the characteristics of engineering powders such as particle size distribution, powder shape and packing density, surface area, powder flow and rheology, and chemical analysis. The chapter then describes the general categories of powder fabrication methods, namely mechanical comminution, electrochemical precipitation, thermochemical reaction, and phase change and atomization. It provides information on the two largest contributors to powder price, namely raw material cost and conversion cost. The applicability of various processes to specific material systems is mentioned throughout this chapter.

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