Metal powders are used in the production of a variety of manufacturing processes. Hosokawa has developed applications specifically for processing of metallic powders.
How Metal Powders are Processed
Once a metallic material has been converted into a powder the materials are blended with other ingredients to meet the required application. For example, metal powders are often mixed with lubricants that help the powders to flow when filled into a mold, allowing the materials to completely fill the mold form. Additives can also be added to the powder, which could increase its strength or rigidity. However, in order for either of these ingredients to be added to the powder, it needs to be sufficiently homogenized.
The Nauta Mixer
The Nauta Mixer is a gentle conical screw batch mixer capable of mixing segregative, free-flowing powders in batches up to 100,000 liters per batch. The Nauta Mixer’s gentle mixing allows it to safely mix metal powders together with lubricants and additives. Because the mixing action is gentle, the metal powders are not worn down or heat up. Heating of the metal powders can change the material characteristics and in some cases cause the powders to melt and fuse, creating larger undesired, particles. The way that the Nauta Mixer accomplishes its gentle mixing is through the way it only mixes one section of the batch at a time, eventually mixing the entire batch.
Common Uses of Metallic Powders
Metallic powders are commonly used to make engine parts. The metallic powders, when combine with a lubricant, flow into a mold which allows the material to form into an engine. Metallic powders are also commonly used in nuclear power plants, as metallic powders are turned into pellets that are put into uranium rods.
Whether it is in a car or a power plant, metallic powders are used in many different manufacturing processes, and Hosokawa has the application to process them.