Sintered steel is a type of metal that has undergone a sintering process, in which the powdered metal is heated below its melting point until the particles form a molecular bond.
Metals like iron, copper, and aluminum are commonly turned into sintered steel. Sintered steels normally possess high temperature resistance and slow deformation rate.
Sintered copper steel is commonly used as a component in motorcycle brake pads.
There are three main stages in the production of sintered steel: pulverization, molding and compaction. The first step is to convert the steel ore into powder. Grinding, atomization, chemical reaction, and centrifugal disintegration are four ways to produce metal powder.
The powder is transferred to a mold press. Metal products with intricate shapes and details can be made more efficiently with this method because the particles are better adapted to the mold.
The mold is then pressurized and compacted. Heat is added to fuse the particles. In some cases, sintered metal can be re-pressed to reduce porosity.
Although easy to cast, sintered steels can be difficult to machine.
Uneven particles create an abrasive surface that accelerates wear on machining tools. To increase machinability, additives such as phosphorus, sulfur, and tellurium are mixed with the base metal to create a smoother surface.
Unlike traditional metallurgy, in which steel is cast in a more or less liquid state before being shaped, sintered steels is forged while still in powder form.
By not having to be melted, several phases of the conventional process are eliminated. This reduces manufacturing time, which can be crucial for high-volume production.
A relatively low temperature is needed to sinter steel. As a result, tungsten and other metals with high melting temperatures are frequently converted to sintered steel. Metals that are not easily melt-alloyed can be combined by sintering.
Titanium carbide, a tough metal used in the machining of spacecraft tips and exteriors, is manufactured by this method.
The spaces between the particles created during sintering increase the porosity of the steel. This attribute enables the production of sintered stainless steel filters, which can be used to filter air and chemicals.
Also, since sintered stainless steels can withstand tremendous heat, it is often applied in extreme environments.
In motorcycles, sintered copper steel is commonly used as a component in brake pads. Provides relatively more stopping power and heat resistance compared to organic brake pads.
The ability to remain durable after repeated breakage has made it popular with motorcycle enthusiasts.
Ball bearings made of sintered steels are often found in industrial machines. The gaps within the bearings retain fluid, which helps keep them properly lubricated.