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Thematic network in powder metallurgy process modelling

Objective



PM MODNET
NETWORK OVERVIEW

Powder Metallurgy (PM) is an important forming technology
capable of economic production of net- and near net-shape
engineering components, with the additional environmental
benefits of reductions in raw material and energy consumption. Powder metallurgy is one of the most accurate of the near net shape manufacturing technologies, but its accuracy depends on the two key stages of production, die compaction and sintering. In particular the cost and delivery time of the compaction die is very often the most important element in competitiveness. It is recognised that computer based modelling of the die
compaction and sintering processes in particular can contribute significantly to improving efficiency, quality and cost of
current production and to generating new business opportunities for European PM producers.
There are currently a number of European research groups
working on both compaction and sintering models. However,
software tools are not yet being exploited industrially.
MODNET will concentrate on extensive collaborative programme aimed at tackling the major current barriers to industrial
exploitability of models by:
- ensuring the availability of valid material property input data by defining and standardising reliable measurement
methods;
- testing and validating the predictive capabilities of
existing models against industrially relevant processing
conditions and product requirements and against agreed
benchmarking criteria.

Additionally, MODNET focuses on training and transfer of
technology to industry, development of information
dissemination measures and ongoing review and assessment of the international state-of-the-art in the field.
In order to pursue these objectives, a balanced consortium of industrial organisations (PM processors and their material and equipment suppliers) and active research groups has been
assembled.
Network management has been organised to ensure that the needs of industry are given high priority in planning the different tasks. Strong interactions with a number of ongoing national government or privately funded initiatives in the field are
planned.
MODNET will be coordinated by the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), the pan-European trade association for the PM industries. EPMA will subcontract the project management role to a recognised PM technology/industry expert, who will also lead the Die Compaction cluster. University of Nottingham will also contribute to the management resource by leading the Sintering cluster.

EUROPEAN DIMENSION AND PARTNERSHIP

The partnership is widely distributed within the EU, with
representation from ten Member States and one Associated State (Liechtenstein).
The coordination role provided by EPMA, the pan-European trade association covering the broad range of powder processing
industry sectors, ensures that information arising from MODNET are widely disseminated throughout the EU.
Significant initiatives funded by national government or
privately have been identified in a number of Member States
(e.g. SE, FR, DE, GB). Care has been taken to establish close links between the Network and these initiatives to maximise
synergy and complementarity.
MODNET research objectives are those which could not be
achieved by the individual groups and initiatives. Its added value is therefore very significant.
There is a significant trend for the PM industry's major
customer, the automotive industry, to globalise its production facilities. This is generating a trend towards globalisation of PM manufacturing capacity and worldwide sourcing of PM.
This trend will increase competition from imports within the European market and create new opportunities for export outside Europe.
The enhancement of the European PM industry's capability in
process modelling (particularly of die compaction and
sintering) is seen as a vital factor in defending markets
against imports from lower labour cost countries, particularly in the Far East.
Furthermore superior process technology will provide a vital competitive advantage in export markets.

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

It was decided to restrict the scope of the Network to cover Die Compaction and Sintering processes only. This decision was taken on the basis that these are the dominant process steps in all sectors of industry and that industrial demand for activity on these two processes was much more significant than for other processing technologies.
The potential benefits of appropriate Die Compaction models can be divided between those relating to current process problems (production efficiency and quality) and those relating to
potential generation of new application opportunities (higher performance applications, lower production run applications). The issues of concern in Sintering differ between net shape PM engineering components (fine control over dimensional changes, control over composition and carbon content) and other powder materials processing to full density products (the control of densification during sintering, the control of microstructural changes during sintering).
In the later stages it is planned to form additional Networks in other related powder technologies such as hardmetals and
magnets to take advantage of the developments made. The
enhancement of the capabilities identified above, which would arise from appropriate models of the die compaction and
sintering processes, is seen as a vital factor in increasing the competitiveness of the European PM industry.

Coordinator

EUROPEAN POWDER METALLURGY ASSOCIATION
Address
Old Bank Buildings, Bellstone
SY1 1HU Bellstone - Strewbury
United Kingdom

Participants (24)

AEA Technology Plc.
United Kingdom
Address
Harwell
OX11 0RA Didcot - Oxfordshire
Commissariat á l'Energie Atomique
France
Address
17,Rue Des Martyrs
38054 Grenoble
Dorst Maschinen und Alagenbau
Germany
Address
61,Mittenwalder Strasse 61
82431 Kochel Am See
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.*
Germany
Address
Woehlerstrasse 11
79108 Freiburg (In Breisgau)
GKN Bound Brook Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Trent Valley Road
WS13 6HF Lichfield
Hilti AG
Liechtenstein
Address

9494 FL Schaan
Höganäs AB
Sweden
Address

263 83 Högands
INSTITUT NATIONAL POLYTECHNIQUE DE GRENOBLE
France
Address
101,Rue De La Physique 101 Domaine Universitaire
38402 Saint-martin-d'heres
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
Address
2,Kasteelpartk Arenberg, 44
3001 Heverlee
LULEAA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Sweden
Address

971 87 Lulea
Miba Sintermetall AG
Austria
Address
1,Dr.-mitterbauer-straße 1
4655 Vorchdorf
Monroe Belgium
Belgium
Address
Industriezone Noord-west
3800 Sint-truiden
SANC Engineering Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
The Street
TN13 1AA N Sevenoaks
Sinter metals Krebsöge Components GmbH & Co. KG
Germany
Address

42477 Radevormwald
Sintermetal SA
Spain
Address
5,Cl. Covadonga 5
8291 Ripollet (Barcelona)
Sinterstahl GmbH
Germany
Address
4,Hiebelerstrasse
87629 Füssen
TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTRE OF FINLAND
Finland
Address
3,Kemistintie 3
02044 Espoo
Technische Universiteit Delft
Netherlands
Address
137,Rotterdamseweg
2628 AL Delft
UNIVERSIT DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO
Italy
Address
Via Mesiano 77
38050 Bieno
UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE CATALUNYA
Spain
Address
647,Avda Diagonal 647
08028 Barcelona
UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER
United Kingdom
Address
University Road
LE1 7RH Leicester
University of Nottingham
University of Wales, Swansea
United Kingdom
Address
Singleton Park
SA2 8PP Swansea
VITO - VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK NV
Belgium
Address
200,Boeretang 200
2400 Mol