In this study, the effect of gas pressure on the shape and size of the AZ91 alloy powder produced by using the gas atomization method was investigated experimentally. Experiments were carried out at 820°C constant temperature in 2-mm nozzle diameter and by applying 4 different gas pressures (0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 MPa). Argon gas was used to atomize the melt. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) to determine the shape of produced AZ91 powders, XRD, XRF and SEM-EDX analysis to determine the phases forming in the internal structures of the produced powders and the percentages of these phases and a laser measuring device for powder size analysis were used. Hardness tests were carried out to determine the mechanical properties of the produced powders. The general appearances of AZ91 alloy powders produced had general appearances of ligament, acicular, droplet, flake and spherical shape, but depending on the increase in gas pressure, the shape of the powders is seen to change mostly towards flake and spherical. It is determined that the finest powder was obtained at 820°C with 2 mm nozzle diameter at 3.5 MPa gas pressure and the powders had complex shapes in general.
Rare earth Nd-Fe-B, a widely used magnet composition, was synthesized in a shape of powders using gas atomization, a rapid solidification based process. The microstructure and properties were investigated in accordance with solidification rate and densification. Detailed microstructural characterization was performed by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the structural properties were measured by using X-ray diffraction. Iron in the form of α-Fe phase was observed in powder of about 30 μm. It was expected that fraction of Nd2Fe14B phase increased rapidly with decrease in powder size, on the other hand that of α-Fe phase was decreased. Nd-rich phase diffused from grain boundary to particle boundary after hot deformation due to capillary action. The coercivity of the alloy decreased with increase in powder size. After hot deformation, Nd2Fe14B phase tend to align to c-axis.
In this study, precisely controlled large scale gas atomization process was applied to produce spherical and uniform shaped high entropy alloy powder. The gas atomization process was carried out to fabricate CoCrFeNiMn alloy, which was studied for high ductility and mechanical properties at low temperatures. It was confirmed that the mass scale, single phase, equiatomic, and high purity spherical high entropy alloy powder was produced by gas atomization process. The powder was sintered by spark plasma sintering process with various sintering conditions, and mechanical properties were characterized. Through this research, we have developed a mass production process of high quality and spherical high entropy alloy powder, and it is expected to expand applications of this high entropy alloy into fields such as powder injection molding and 3D printing for complex shaped components.