Carbon potential control is critical to improve production process for powder metal parts

Linde paper at PowderMet 2012 gives details on SINTERFLEX® control system

Murray Hill, New Jersey, U.S., May 21, 2012 –The production process for powdered metal parts can be greatly enhanced by precisely controlling the chemical carbon potential of the sintering atmosphere. This is the focus of a paper to be presented by Linde engineers at PowderMet 2012, sponsored by the 2012 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials, to be held June 10-13 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

The paper, entitled, Improved Quality by Carbon Potential Control in Metal Injection Molding Sinter Furnace Atmospheres, will be presented by Tony Palermo, Metallurgy Program Manager for Linde in North America, and Akin Malas, Head of Heat Treatment Industry Segment, also from Linde. The paper describes a means to control the chemical carbon potential of the sintering atmosphere in order to produce higher quality product while, in effect, lowering the cost of production, enhancing customer satisfaction, and expanding the current and future market penetration of parts produced by metal injection molding and powder injection molding.

“There are a number of practices which, if not controlled properly, may contribute to the generation of defects or insufficient sintered part properties or appearance, which reduce quality, increase costs, and lead to dissatisfied customers and, ultimately, diminished market share,” Palermo points out in his paper. “We have found that one of the root causes of these problems resides in the surface decarburization or carburization of the sintered parts which may be the result of carbon potential fluctuation in the sintering process.”

The problem can be eliminated by using the Linde SINTERFLEX® carbon control system to precisely manage and control the carbon potential in the furnace throughout the sintering process. The new technology uses continuous atmosphere sampling, a proprietary oxygen probe, and a carbon monoxide analyzer to continuously calculate atmosphere carbon potential and provide the addition, when needed, of an appropriate trim gas mixture to maintain carbon potential within a desired, pre-set range. “The objective of this technology is to maintain a furnace atmosphere carbon potential that contributes to the processing of sintered parts that meet required, or desired, carbon composition and consequent properties,” Palermo said.

“The SINTERFLEX system takes the guesswork out of maintaining the proper atmosphere in the furnace. By precisely controlling the carbon potential in real time, the system can produce consistently high quality parts every time,” said Palermo, who will co-present the paper at the Enhanced Processing Session on Monday afternoon, June 12.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 50,500 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2011 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 13.787 bn (USD 18.1 billion). The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The Group is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com

Contact: 
Amy Ficon
Linde corporate communications
908-771-1491
amy.ficon@linde.com

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Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, a world leading gases and engineering company. The Linde Group has around 49,100 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2010 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 12.9 billion (USD 17.9 billion). The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

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