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New approach to the manufacture of complex shaped parts

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An innovative approach for the lock industry

A novel means to produce cost-efficient, complex-shaped engineering components has made its way into the lock industry.

Industrial Technologies

Industrial sectors continue to search for ways to minimise manufacturing costs by lessening the surplus of raw materials. One process capable of this is powder metallurgy (PM), a forming and fabrication technique which uses sintering (the heating of raw material to produce various parts out of metal powder). However, when it comes to complex-shaped engineering components, PM falls short unless the parts are machined after sintering. This can be expensive because of the hardness of the heat-treated materials requiring more care in machining. In light of this, the PM-MACH project has created efficient methods for machining powder compacts prior to sintering. This comprised of novel means for powder pressing, clamping, machine procedures, tooling and lubrication. One such development involved new material to improve locking devices. Until now the lock industry was not able to combine all the elements of drill and corrosion resistance as well as durability. Thanks to a new PM material which combines standard stainless steel with stainless tool steel, such features are now possible. As an end result, the lock industry may just have an innovative and efficient approach at hand.

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