Spheroidisation of iron powder in a microwave plasma reactor

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • SDG 12
  • Abstract:

    Plasma-assisted spheroidisation of metal powders offers several technical advantages with respect to both the ease of materials handling and powder-metallurgical item manufacturing. Advantages include improved flowability, increased powder packing density, elimination of internal component cavities and fractures, changes in morphology resulting in decreased friction between particles and contamination during pneumatic transport and enhanced particle purity. In this empirical study, spherical iron particles were produced using a microwave plasma operating at atmospheric pressure and characterized using optical microscopy and SEM techniques. Iron powders were fed into the system at fixed operating conditions, resulting in particles with spherical structures. The theoretical estimate of the time required for melting to occur is 1.6 ms, an order of magnitude smaller than the actual residence time.