Advanced Carbon Control in Sintering Atmospheres
As the major driver for the Powder Metallurgy (PM) industry is the automotive industry, the sintering process now has to be more cost effective than ever. One way to success here is to combine multiple processes and to control the processes by newer technological development as well as the deployment of processes with less energy and lower consumption of resources. The quality of PM parts is directly related to the control of process parameters of the individual production steps. The metallurgical properties and especially the microstructural changes in the case of a sintering component can only be regulated by controlling the furnace atmosphere accurately. The carbon control of the sintering process has however always been somewhat out of control since no suitable control concept was available. It is therefore a primary objective of this paper to give detailed results of successful control of carbon potential in sintering processes and leveraging the advantage of the control to produce higher quality product and at the same time to facilitate a lower production cost.