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What are the main aerosol methods for producing metal alloy powders

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Gas atomization is one method of producing metal alloys powders. It is the act of reducing a liquid metal stream to small drops using high-speed flow and powdering it. Because of its benefits of low purity and oxygen content and controllable particle sizes for powder production, prepared powder is the primary direction in high-performance special alloys powder preparation technology. At the moment, there are several gas atomization technology options for powder production.

Atomization using laminar flow technology

German companies proposed the laminar-atomization technique. The technology offers significant advantages over conventional nozzles. It has an improved atomizing mechanism that produces high atomization efficiency and narrow powder particle distribution. The cooling speed is 106-107K/s. At 2.0MPa, copper, aluminum, and 316L stainless can be atomized. The powders are atomized with Ar and N2 as their medium. Their average size is about 10mm. This method is ideal for producing most metal powders, as it has low energy consumption and significant economic benefits. It has several disadvantages, including difficulty in technical control, unstable atomization, low output (the metal flow rate is below 1kg/min), and is unsuitable for industrial production.

Ultrasonic tightly coupled Atomization technology

Ultrasonic close coupled atomization technology optimises the structure in the closed-coupled, ring-slot-nozzle so that its outlet velocity exceeds sound speed and thus increases the mass flow rate. The powder’s average particle size can reach 20mm for metals such as stainless-steel, while the standard deviation can drop to as low as 1.5mm.

The technology can be used to produce either amorphous and fast cooling powders. The current technology represents the next development of closely coupled atomization technology. This equipment can be widely utilized in metals like iron alloy, copper alloy and nickel alloy as well as hydrogen storage.

A atomization process for hot gas

The effects and mechanisms of hot gas-atomization have been the subject of extensive research by a US company. One company located in the United States heated the hot gas at 200 to 400 degrees Celsius to make silver and gold alloy atomize under pressures of 1.72 MPa. They found that both the average particle size as well as the standard deviation decreased with temperature. The hot gas atomization technique can be more effective than conventional atomization technologies, decrease gas consumption and is easier to apply on existing atomization equipment. The technology is promising.

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