Environmental control and improved working conditions are already an issue of increasing importance world wide, and the European Commission is enhancing legislation which has important consequences for the European PM' industry. Particularly important is the now almost certain ratification by EC Member States of the classification of nickel metal and alloys containing nickel als carcinogenic substances (see EC Carcinogen Directives 90/394/EEC and 91/322/EEc in preparation). Governmental trade/industry control authorities regulate already in different EC countries the handling of nickel containing powders. E.g. in France nickel containing blends have to be modified to fulfil the control requirements. German directives demand special precautions to avoid pollution with nickel dust at different work-shop places. Spain is adapting Us regulations . As nickel in form of powder is one of the most important alloying elements for the production of high-strength sintered steels, the PM' industry must meet the consequences of the restrictions by development of new nickel-free alloys or at least alloys without processing free nickel powders in order to avoid costly health and environmental control measures.
The newly developed materials must fulfil all requirements of presently mass manufactured products, which are mechanical properties and processing conditions, e.g. wear of tools, dimensional accuracy and costs.
The performance of the newly developed materials will be verified according to service conditions on the example of three different heavy-duty parts (Gear-box lever, synchroniser hub, sprockel gear) presently produced by high-strength alloys containing nickel.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
38800 Pont De Claix
263 83 Hoeganaes