Limits of Loose Metal Powder Density in the Sinterstation
The possibility to increase the density of applied metal powder in the Sinterstation has been investigated by successive addition of smaller sized particle fractions to a base powder. The optimal composition for each blend was determined experimentally, and their apparent densities were compared to the densities after Sinterstation application. The principal limiting factors for the density of metal powder in the Sinterstation were found to be the interparticle friction and the small sized particles’ tendency to form a suspension in the air. Finally, based on the evaluation of the different powder compositions’ behavior, a practical upper limit of loose metal powder density was estimated to 86%, when applied by a Sinterstation. The highest applied powder density in this investigation was a binary blend with 68.60% relative density.