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Preparation Method of Spherical and Monocrystalline Aluminum Powder

1
IMAT Institute of Materials Science, Joining and Forming, Graz University of Technology, Kopernikusgasse 24, 8010 Graz, Austria
2
Institute of Materials Engineering, Cracow University of Technology, 24 Warszawska ave, 31-155 Cracow, Poland
3
Institute of Experimental Physics, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 16, 8010 Graz, Austria
4
Institut für Elektronenmikroskopie und Nanoanalytik, Steyrergasse 17/III, 8010 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(3), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9030375
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 23 March 2019
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Abstract

This paper presents a new production method for a spherical and monocrystalline aluminum powder. Aluminum powder of irregular particle shapes was mixed with silica nanoparticles and heated to a temperature above the melting point of aluminum. Due to its molten state, high surface tension, and poor wettability, the aluminum particles were transformed into liquid and spherical droplets separated by silica nanoparticles. The spherical shape was then retained when the aluminum particles solidified. The influence of the processing temperature on the particle shape, phase composition, and microstructure was investigated. Moreover, calorimetric, X-ray diffraction, grain size, and scanning electron microscopy with electron backscatter diffraction (SEM-EBSD) measurements of the particles’ microstructure are presented. It is proven that, by this means, a spherical and monocrystalline aluminum powder can be efficiently created directly from an air-atomized irregular powder. The observed phenomenon of particles becoming round is of great importance, especially when considering powder preparation for powder-based additive manufacturing processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: aluminum; spherical particles; powder; crystal; EBSD aluminum; spherical particles; powder; crystal; EBSD
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Skalon, M.; Hebda, M.; Buzolin, R.; Pottlacher, G.; Mitsche, S.; Sommitsch, C. Preparation Method of Spherical and Monocrystalline Aluminum Powder. Metals 2019, 9, 375.

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