It is experimentally shown that a removal of particles exceeding 100 microns in size from iron powders typically used in the fabrication of medium density powder metallurgy steels has a weak effect on apparent density, flowability and compressibility of blends as well as on density and strength of green bodies. An elimination of such particles, i.e., cutting off a heavy tail of a size distribution histogram at the 100 μm threshold, improves a compositional uniformity of sintered materials, but has no noticeable beneficial effect upon the strength of a final product, which is likely be determined by a fraction of pores and their shapes. A presence of soft pearlitic inclusions hardly matters unless their number density becomes so large that a 3D continuity (integrity) of a hard martensitic matrix is lost. This finding suggests that such an expensive preparatory step as sieving away large particles from as-received mixtures would bear no technological advantages. It was experimentally found that an attempt to lower the threshold below 100 μm noticeably worsened apparent density, flowability and compressibility.
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