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Material Manufacturing Technology

The choice of manufacturing process depends not only on the chemistry of the material to be produced, but also the product’s target goals, resulting coating characteristics and properties, and the application economics (deposition rate vs. product cost). In addition to the processes shown here, Oerlikon Metco may employ other processing steps to achieve the desired end result such as HDH (hydride-dehydride) and chemical purification. We also offer blends of materials in precise ratios that consist of multiple materials produced using any of these manufacturing processes.

Oerlikon Metco’s flexibility in materials manufacturing makes us unique. It is your assurance that we can provide a product that is exactly right for your production process and application goals. We combine this flexibility with rigorous materials development standards that checks and rechecks targets for performance and cost. It is all part of being your materials powerhouse.

Agglomerated Powders

Agglomeration takes extremely fine particles of the same or dissimilar compositions and gluing them to one another to form larger particles. Often, this is accomplished by the spray drying process, where droplets of slurry are atomized and dried to form spherical powders. Besides its components, the powder particles also contain a small amount of a binder.

Agglomerated and Sintered Powders

This method first uses an agglomeration process to form the powder and then sinters it to remove a binder, increase a particle cohesive strength and partially densify it. As sintering is done below the melting point of the constituent material, the product remains in powder form. In the case of metallic powders, sintering can alloy the agglomerated powders.

Agglomerated and HOSP Powders

After agglomeration, the powder is spherodized using the HOSP (Hollow Spherical Powder) process, which was pioneered by Oerlikon Metco. The HOSP process heats up particles above their melting point and surface tension pulls them into a spherical shape. The process occurs in ambient atmosphere. This combination of manufacturing methods is commonly used for ceramic powders, such as stabilized zirconium oxides, to improve thermal spray deposit efficiency and improve coating properties.

Agglomerated [and Sintered] and Densified Powders

Agglomerated powders are densified in an inert atmosphere using heat. Some materials may be sintered prior to the final densification process. This method of manufacture is used to produce premium, spherical carbide-based powders to improve deposit efficiency and stability during the application process.

Sintered and Crushed Powders

Slurries containing the constituents for the final powder are placed in molds and put into a sintering furnace at high temperature to alloy or cement the solid constituents. After sintering, the powders are mechanically crushed. This manufacturing process is often used to produce cemented or tungsten carbides.

Fused and Crushed Powders

The fusing process is carried out at very high temperatures and sometimes, high pressures, that are sufficient to fuse the constituents together. The initial raw material may start off as a slurry, or a spray-dried powder.  After fusing, the material is crushed to size. The process is often used to manufacture ceramic powders.

Water Atomized Powders

Water atomization is a popular method to manufacture homogeneously alloyed powders that are nearly fully dense. First, the raw materials are melted in a crucible, generally under a blanket of an inert gas. The melt is then poured through a nozzle and the molten stream is atomized and rapidly cooled by water jets. In the final step, the irregularly shaped powder particles are dried.

Gas Atomized Powders

Gas atomization is similar to water atomization. However, once the molten material enters the atomization chamber it is atomized and rapidly cooled by inert gas jets. This allows the particles to form into a fully spherical shape and eliminates the need for drying the powder.

Mechanically Clad Powders

Mechanically Clad Powders

Mechanical cladding refers to methods that affix very fine powder particles to somewhat coarser core powder particles using mechanical means. A common method of cladding is to mix the fine and core powders with a binder agent to adhere the finer powder to the core particles. Heat is then used to cure the binder. Attrition milling may also be used, where fine particles are ‘hammered’ onto the surface of softer core particles. The advantage of attrition milling is that the end product is binder-free.

Chemically Clad Powders

Chemically Clad Powders

Oerlikon Metco uses a proprietary hydrometallurgy powder process to chemically clad nickel onto another material. This process results in a very tenacious and even pure nickel or nickel alloy cladding on the core material. The advantage is that many types of core particles (metals, glass, carbon and more) can be used and the resulting product is very clean and free of binders.

Solid Wires

Solid Wires

Solid wires of a pure metal or alloy are most often produced by drawing or swaging; however, sometimes that can be produced by rolling sheet metal into wire form and compressing it. The diameter of the wire is tightly controlled and can be specific to the application process where it will be used.

Composite Wires

Composite Wires

Composited wires are used when it is desirable to have materials that may not be easily alloyed or as a cost-effective method of combining several materials into a single wire. Most frequently, the wire is rolled with an inner core of filler powder to form the composite. However, other methods use a solid core or billets placed in an outer metal sheath which is then swaged or drawn to the final wire diameter.

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