stainless steel powder metal is an ideal material for PM applications that require durability, strength and ductility. It consists of iron and chromium with various alloying elements, which make it naturally corrosion resistant. This characteristic is especially important for components that will be exposed to salt water or other corrosive substances, like those used in marine applications.
When designing new metal components, there are certain qualities that are always prioritized over others. These are usually referred to as “critical” or “selective” characteristics and include factors such as corrosion resistance, hardness, tensile strength and impact toughness. The selection process depends on the specific application and the product requirements.
In the case of PM stainless steel powder, the most important property is the corrosion resistance. This feature is the result of the addition of chromium to the base iron. The element reacts with oxygen to form a protective film that prevents rust. This is why it is so popular for marine applications.
Stainless steel powders are used in the production of gears such as cams and ratchets for oil and gas exploration equipment, industrial tools and machinery, medical and dental instruments, office equipment, food handling and household appliances. It can also be found in precision machined parts, metal injection molding, thermal spraying and metal shot blasting. The latest issue of the Metal Powder Report features a study that investigated the mechanical properties of porous sintered austenitic stainless steel AIS 316L powder.