Introduction to Additive Manufacturing: Part One

Additive manufacturing is a relatively recent manufacturing method which has become a key area of interest in multiple industrial sectors.
Deriving from CAD models the process can be used to create solid yet highly complex parts and pushes towards a tool-less manufacturing environment meaning improved quality and better efficiency in many cases. Continue reading

Soft Magnetic Materials

Soft magnetic materials are essential components in many devices and are indispensable in modern electrical engineering and electronics.
In recent years there has been significant progress made in the field of soft magnetic materials. Amorphous and nano-crystalline metals represent an expansion and enhancement of the range of soft magnetic alloys. Continue reading

Vacuum Brazing: Part Two

A critical step in any brazing process is the successful removal of oxide films before the process begins and the vacuum brazing process is no different.
In order to prepare the mating surfaces for brazing the ‘clean-up’ process needs to be initiated and this typically happens most effectively between 600 and 850°C. Continue reading

Cu-MgO Composites

Metal matrix composites reinforced with ceramic particles can be interesting for a range of applications due to their strength performance at high temperatures and a relatively low thermal expansion potential.
Manufacturing of Cu-MgO composites critically requires that the raw materials have a very high level of purity (99.5-99.9%) to achieve the desired manufacturing results. Continue reading

The Vacuum Die Casting (VDC) Process: Part One

Vacuum die casted materials have many applications in the automotive industry as well as a number of other commercial industrial sectors.
The main benefits of VDC as opposed to other more traditional methods of casting include a higher quality surface finish, improved mechanical properties and an overall better finished product stability. Continue reading

The Nitrocarburizing Process: Part Two

Nitrocarburizing is a surface hardening process which has several key advantages related to the efficiency in application and also in terms of producing a consistent and stable finished product.
The micro-hardness of surface treated materials using nitrocarburizing can have an increased surface hardness at a ratio of 1.3 to 1.5. Continue reading

Iron Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS): Part One

Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) is a sintering technique which is well matched to mechanically milled materials such as tool steels due to its low temperature and short cycle time.
Tool steels have been specifically manufactured to exhibit exceptionally high strain hardening, a characteristic which can be undone by high temperature sintering processes such as hot isostatic pressing. Continue reading

Superplasticity of Aluminum Alloys: Part Two

Investigations into the superplasticity possibilities of aluminums can lead to many potential gains in finding lighter yet capable materials in terms of strength performance.
This article covers the high-temperature deformation behavior of 5083 at different annealing temperatures and yields some interesting conclusions. Continue reading

Superplasticity of Aluminum Alloys: Part One

It is known that superplasticity refers to the ability of a material to demonstrate under tensile tests very high uniform deformation more than several hundreds percents without visible necking. There are two basic requirements in order to achieve superplastic flow in a polycrystalline material. First, the material must have a very small and stable grain size less than 10 μm. Second, superplasticity is achieved only at relatively high temperatures above 0.5Tm (where Tm is the absolute melting temperature) because superplasticity is diffusion-controlled process. Continue reading

The Nitrocarburizing Process: Part One

Nitrocarburizing, by definition, is a thermochemical treatment that is applied to a ferrous object in order to produce surface enrichment in nitrogen and carbon which in turn form a compound layer.
The composition, function and control of the furnace atmosphere are of crucial importance for the result of all hardening and thermochemical operations. Continue reading