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The gas atomization process is one of the most common methods used to produce metal alloy powders. The gas atomization principle is to break the liquid metal stream down into small drops with high-speed airflow, and then solidify into powder. Powder preparation has been a major development area for special alloy and high-performance powders due to its benefits of high purity and low oxygen content. It also offers controllable particle size, a low cost, and high sphericity. The following are some representative gas atomization techniques for powder production:
Laminar flow atomization is a technology that uses a laminar flow to atomize particles.

The German company etc. proposed a technology for laminar atomization. This technology offers significant improvements over conventional nozzles. The improved atomizing node has high atomization efficiencies, a narrow particle distribution, and cooling speeds of 106 – 107K/sec. The copper, aluminum and 316L stainless-steel, etc., can be atomized under a 2.0MPa atomization force. Ar or Nitrogen is used to atomize the powder, with an average particle size of 10mm. It is a process that produces most metal powders and has a low gas usage. The technical control of this process is difficult. It is also unstable. And the output (metal mass flow rate less than 1kg/min), is low. This is not suitable for industrial production.

Ultrasonic tightly combined atomization technology

Close-coupled ultrasonic technology atomization optimizes a ring-slot nozzle structure to increase the mass flow rate and outlet velocity. When atomizing high-surface energy metals like stainless steel, the average size of the particles can reach around 20mm and the standard deviation can be as little as 1.5mm.

The technology can be used to produce amorphous, fast cooling powder. The current development of this equipment shows that it is the next step in the development of tightly coupled technology. It can be applied to a wide range of materials such as alloy powders and micro stainless steel.

Hot gas atomization

In the last few years, an American company has done a lot research on the mechanism and effect of hot-gas atomization. In the United States, a company heated gas to 200-400degC under pressure of 1.72MPa to atomize silver and gold alloys. It found that the particle size and standard deviation decreased as the temperature increased. The hot gas atomization process is more efficient than traditional atomization, consumes less gas, and can be easily implemented on conventional atomization machines. It’s a promising technology.

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