Utilization of Supersolidus Liquid Phase Sintering (SLPS) in Metal Injection Molding (MIM) for Superalloys in aerospace applications
Powder metallurgy uses metal powders to produce parts of varying complexity. The processes can generally be divided in two big steps. The first is to form the powder into the required shape. This is generally done by pressing or molding the powder. The second step is to consolidate the powder into a solid piece of metal. This is done by heating the formed powder just below its melting temperature. At this point the metal particles will slowly coalesce into a uniform metal structure. This however does not work very well with all metal powder, in particular with metals that are designed to be very resistant at high temperature. This project will explore the possibility of going slightly above the melting temperature so that a small amount of liquid will form to help in the merging of the powder particles. More specifically we will explore this technique using industrial equipment and the metal injection molding (MIM) process at P&WC. This fundamental research will permit P&WC to evaluate the viability of this process for future production incorporation.