Metal Powder Industry In-depth Report
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Metal powder refers to a group of metal particles with a size of less than 1 mm, including single metal powders, alloy powders and certain refractory compounds with metallic properties, and is the main raw material for powder metallurgy. Powder metallurgy is the process of manufacturing metallic materials, composite materials and many different types of products from metal powders (or mixtures of metal powders and non-metallic powders) by forming and sintering. Therefore, metal powders have been developed along with powder metallurgy technology, and the expansion of the application fields of metal powders cannot be separated from the continuous innovation of powder metallurgy technology. The important changes brought about by powder metallurgy technology are mainly reflected in two aspects: (1) advanced technology for the development of new materials and key products; the development of powder metallurgy ductile tungsten wires in 1909 brought light to the human society, and the introduction of hard alloys in 1923 increased the efficiency of metal cutting by tens of times, or even hundreds of times, and brought about a revolutionary change in the cutting and processing, mining and drilling, and other processing industries. Since the 1930s, refractory metals, electrical contact materials and magnetic materials (including rare-earth permanent magnetic materials) developed on the basis of powder metallurgy technology have provided key equipment and components for electrification systems and communication equipment. (2) Advanced molding process for producing high-performance metal mechanical parts. As powder metallurgy technology can realize near-net molding of materials, it has the advantages of high utilization rate of raw materials (about 95%), high production efficiency, energy saving and environmental protection, and is capable of directly producing high-performance powder metallurgy products with complex shapes and high precision. The powder metallurgy machinery parts industry is developing rapidly worldwide, establishing its position as an important component of modern manufacturing.
At present, the rapid development of new industries represented by new-generation information technology, new energy, intelligent manufacturing and so on has put forward higher requirements for materials, such as ultra-high purity, ultra-high performance, ultra-low defects, high-speed iteration, multi-functionality, high durability, low cost, easy recycling, sophisticated equipment, etc., which has put forward even higher requirements for the research and development of new materials. The new materials industry is developing in the direction of greening, low-carbonization, refinement and saving. The rapid development of new-generation information technology and Internet technology such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing, as well as the application of new sensing technology and automation technology have accelerated the research and development process of the new material industry, which has brought development opportunities for metal powder. Metal powder is widely used in automotive, aerospace, electronics, machinery and construction, etc. Under the background of industrial upgrading and green manufacturing, the demand for high-precision and lightweight components in various fields is growing rapidly. The automotive and aerospace industries are at the forefront of increasing demand for lightweight components that provide energy-efficient solutions for consumers. While traditional production methods are unable to produce such lightweight and high-precision components, advanced powder metallurgy processes, such as metal powder injection molding (MIM) and metal powder additive manufacturing (3D printing), can efficiently produce such off-standard components at relatively low production costs.