Gelcasting of stainless steel powder: An alternative to injection molding

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Ortega F.S.
Oliveira R.L.S.
Plinio Jr. M.C.
Nobrega B.N.
Materials Science Forum
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Ortega, F.S.; Oliveira, R.L.S.; Plínio, M.C.; Nobrega, Bernardo N.. Gelcasting of Stainless Steel Powder: An Alternative to Injection Molding. Materials Science Forum, v. 660-661, p. 194-199, 2010.
The gelcasting process is a forming technique originally developed for the shaping of advanced ceramics into final products in attempts to overcome some of the limitations of conventional forming techniques used in powder metallurgy. It is based on preparing a high solids loading suspension of powder dispersed in an aqueous organic monomers solution, which is poured into a mold and gelled through a chemically initiated polymerization. This work describes the gelcasting of HK-30 stainless steel, a type of powder commonly processed by injection molding. Large (70 x 30 mm) and geometrically complex green compacts with outstanding form retention and stability were obtained. Sintered parts showed good surface finishing and reached 96% of theoretical density, yield strength of 418.5 MPa, and ultimate strength of 701.5 MPa. These results compare favorably with those typically obtained through conventional powder injection molding of HK-30 feedstocks. They support the growing view that gelcasting may soon become an industrial, low cost alternative for near net shaping metallic powders into small or large parts with complex geometries © (2010) Trans Tech Publications.