Using Solid Density to Assess Metal Powder Purity and Open Porosity of Metal Extrusions

In modern technology, metal powders are used in many different industries and for an extensive range of applications, such as additive manufacturing, casting, additives in paints and inks, powder metallurgy, metal injection molding, and tool making. Purity of metal powders and the open porosity of solid metal extrusions are important material characteristics that can be assessed from solid density measurements and are vital in characterizing physical properties. Tapped density via the Autotap and skeletal density via the Ultrapyc 5000 give extremely accurate volume measurements. These measurements can then be correlated to purity and porosity, which affect the production process, as well as the final product quality.

Introduction

Solid density is an important property of metal compounds which is used to control material quality from the raw metal powders to the formed metal pieces. Tapped density measurements provide bulk volume, particle morphology, and powder flow information. Gas pycnometry is used to ensure proper purity of raw powder materials and porosity of formed pieces throughout the manufacturing process.

Porous metals have many uses from catalytic engineering to electromagnetic shielding. Knowing the open porosity of a metal is critical to understanding many different properties such as strength, conductivity, temperature tolerance, and processability[1]. For example, in metals of the same composition, more porous extrusions can absorb more energy than those with less porosity. Some porosity is also important to prevent fracturing during compression.

For both powder purity information and metal porosity, measurement of skeletal density using gas pycnometry is an excellent choice to assess these important metal properties.

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