The powder metallurgy industry has undergone massive growth in the past few years due to technological advances in various industries. These industries include, but are not limited to, the aerospace and defense industries and the additive manufacturing markets. As these industries continue to grow, so does the demand for finer particles and tighter powder distributions. Unfortunately, few machinery manufacturers have been able to keep up with the demand leading to massive production bottlenecks when it comes to classifying and sieving for the powder metallurgy industry. Elcan Industries, has been on the forefront of this trend and has developed sieving and classifying solutions that cater to any powder being used in this industry. Elcan works with a few unique technologies that are able to mechanically sieve down to 10 microns and classify down below 1 micron. The results that companies experience using this equipment are higher rates, yield and efficiencies without the added spare parts and screen replacement costs.
Advanced Equipment Options
- What is Powder Metallurgy?
- Elbow Jet Air Classifier
What is Powder Metallurgy?
Powder Metallurgy simply put, is a term covering a wide range of ways in which materials or components are made from metal powders. PM processes can avoid, or greatly reduce, the need to use metal removal processes, thereby drastically reducing yield losses in manufacturing and often resulting in lower costs.
The Hi-Sifter Screener
The Hi-Sifter sieving system was designed specifically for fine separation of material in the powder metallurgy industry. It is constructed of completely, polished stainless steel and has no organic components inside the system making it ideal for the aerospace and defense industries as well as additive manufacturing. Unlike conventional vibratory sieves and ultrasonic screeners, the hi-sifter employs a strong vertical energy into the screening surface. This causes the powder to jump on the screening surface and prevents blinding from occurring in the first place. For dense metal powders, the combination of density and energy leads to extremely efficient separations at fine sizes as low as ten microns. The hi-sifter is already the proven leader for the AM industry and many other powder metallurgy companies are reaping the benefits of this system.
The Hi-Sifter uses a tensionless screen cloth and this combined with the energy on the screen allows for extremely tight classifications. Many companies rely on the hi-sifter for the 45 over 15 micron cut for the additive manufacturing industry and have experienced yield increases of over 20%! The efficiency of the hi-sifter at fine sizes allows companies to create products with virtually no particles less than ten microns in the product. The tensionless screen cloth acts as a go or no go gauge in the system preventing oversize particles from ending up in the product stream. Screen replacements are done by the user which eliminates costly screen repairs and the need to send screens back to the supplier are also a thing of the past.
These systems do not use any screen cleaning or ultrasonic devices to help keep the screen clean. The high energy eliminates the potential for blinding by never allowing particles the opportunity to settle in the screen opening in the first place. Eliminating the need for balls or sliders meets a critical industry need that is the absence of any organic materials inside of the screening system. Oftentimes, balls and sliders need to be replaced due to abrasion of these materials which can lead to downstream contamination. Ultrasonic sieves are not as efficient and replacing them can be a time consuming and expensive process. Many times, this will result in production downtime if ample sieves are not kept on hand.
Elbow Jet Air Classifier
For separations below ten microns, using a screener is extremely difficult due to the lack of availability of screen cloths at these fine sizes. The screens that are available oftentimes have very low open area on them which make classifications possible, but difficult. The Elbow Jet Air Classifier is designed to make separations that advanced sieving systems are unable to due to the lack of screen cloth. The Elbow Jet is the only air classifier that does not use a classifying wheel to make separations. The system employs the Coanda effect, which relies on air flow and density to make the separation. For dense metal powders, the results of these classifications are very clean and often times are able to eliminate “tails” that are associated with conventional air classifying.
The Elbow Jet systems meets multiple needs for the powder metallurgy industry. By eliminating the classifier wheel and other rotating parts, the potential for contamination inside the system is virtually zero. Unlike conventional classifying systems that only provide one cut of product, the Elbow Jet can produce three grades of product in a single pass. This means that companies looking to classify out both the oversize and undersize fraction of a product can do so without having to run the system multiple times.
Since the inception, Elcan Industries has been focused on making separation solutions that other companies and equipment simply cannot achieve. Elcan has always specialized in fine separations for the powder metallurgy industry and years of experience have prepared us for the new, fine markets that are rapidly growing. Elcan has a toll sifting operation in New York where we can trial and toll products for companies on the same equipment that we sell. Running these systems everyday has given us insight and knowledge to make separations that even manufacturers of equipment can not achieve. Call 914-381-7500 today to find out how we can help improve your sieving or classifying process!
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