Optimization of an Industrial-scale Water Atomization Process to Produce High-Grade Metal Powders

Powder Metallurgy (PM) and Metal Additive Manufacturing (Metal AM) are sets of processes to produce net-shape or near-net-shape metal parts from metal powders, and so they offer material and energy saving. These processes, however, require powders of strict specifications like particle size distribution and shape. Water Atomization (WA) of a molten metal is a cost-effective approach to producing metal powders. With the advances in PM and Metal AM, water atomization also needs to be enhanced to produce higher quality powders. In this project, we investigate routes to optimize the design and operating parameters of an industrial WA process, to produce high-grade and controlled powders. The study includes computer simulations and lab-scale experiments (at the University of Toronto, ON), and plant trials (at Rio Tinto Metal Powders, QC). The expected outcome is to control the size and shape of water atomized powders; thus, to benefit Rio Tinto Metal Powders by expanding their market.

Faculty Supervisor:

Kinnor Chattopadhyay;Markus Bussmann;Yu Zou


Ali Asgarian


Rio Tinto Fer et Titane





University of Toronto



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