There has been a new addition to the powder technology scene in Austria. The Powder Technology Center at Austrian Research Centers GmbH in Seibersdorf has been founded with the aim of focusing research activities on powder injection moulding as well as conventional powder metallurgy, and metal matrix composites.
State-of-the-art equipment for powder preparation, injection moulding and sintering is available over 200m² for industrial and governmental R and D. In addition to dry blenders, mixers, injection moulding machines, compounders, presses, debinding furnaces, sintering furnaces and hot pressing facilities, equipment for both mechanical and thermophysical testing and for non-destructive testing is used in the Powder Technology Centre.
The 12 employees under the leadership of Dr Rudolf Zauner work mainly on industry-funded Ramp;D projects. Ramp;D in the net-shaping process of powder injection moulding (PIM) deals with both metal (MIM) and ceramic (CIM) injection moulding. The development of new materials and feedstocks, micro-PIM, process simulation and innovative tooling concepts are the main basic research topics, while demand in industrial Ramp;D projects is mainly for feasibility studies and small series production. In cooperation with material suppliers and equipment manufacturers, the Powder Technology Center offers a pilot-scale facility for PIM R and D.
Research in convetional P/M focuses on the processing of materials using pressure-assisted sintering technologies (hot pressing, gas-assisted sintering) and on developing new materials (hard metals, cermets, refractories). Another processing technology which is in great demand is severe plastic deformation (SPD) for achieving fine-grained materials with outstanding properties.
The metal matrix composites (MMC) group develops materials for thermal management applications such as copper-carbon and copper-diamond composites. With the latter, a thermal conductivity in hot pressed composites of over 700 W/m K has been achieved – twice as high as that of pure copper.
The Powder Technology Center provides users with everything from initial concepts through to final prototypes, building on the expertise of its employees and relationship with associated groups working on alloy development, nanotechnology, quality control and automation. For more information on the Powder Technology Center, please contact: Dr. Rudolf Zauner, tel: +43 50550 3379, fax: +43 50550 3366, email: [email protected]