Hydrodynamic particle-size classification of aluminum alloy powders
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Powder fractionation is an essential part of powder metallurgy processes. However, powder particles smaller than 40 μm can hardly be classified. Meshes with openings smaller than 40 μm are not used in conventional sieving because of very low effectiveness since powder is suspended above the sieve as a result of vibration, which makes it difficult for the particles to pass through the mesh. Powders with particles smaller than 40 μm can be fractionated by hydroclassification. The hydroclassification of aluminum alloy powders and distribution of powder particle sizes are studied, and efficient hydroclassification methods are developed. Water-atomized aluminum powders and alloys have not been produced until recently because of the explosion hazard as hydrogen releases when aluminum interacts with water. A method is proposed for the hydroclassification and, thus, fractionation of powders over a wide range of particle sizes, including those smaller than 40 μm, beginning with 0–10 μm.
Keywordspowder fraction hydrocyclone inhibitor grain-size composition aluminum alloys
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