Carbon control in PM sintering: industrial applications and experience
Journal article, 2013
The challenges in controlling carbon potential during sintering of steel powder have been discussed in many experimental and theoretical studies. The main issues lie within the complex thermodynamics and kinetics of processing atmosphere chemistry in continuous sintering furnaces. Although many models have been proposed to address the problem, these have rarely come to reality and entered industry practice. The purpose of this article is to summarise these discussions and investigate the interaction of the atmosphere constituents with the sintered compact within a sintering furnace. An important aim is to provide the PM industry with a fresh understanding of furnace operations and to provide recommendations to improve the control of furnace conditions. A case study is given of an existing furnace installation using Sinterflex technology which allows continuous monitoring and/or control of the furnace atmosphere. The reduction of oxides and carbon potentials to optimise the production parameters is described.