As an advanced lightweight and high-strength metal material, titanium has the advantages of high specific strength, low density, excellent corrosion resistance and good biocompatibility. It is widely used in aerospace, automobile industry, chemical industry, biomedical and other fields. High-performance spherical titanium powder has the characteristics of high sphericity, good fluidity, high loose density, low oxygen content (<0.15%) and fine particle size. It is mainly used in advanced powder metallurgy technology, laser additive manufacturing technology, and thermal spraying technology.
At present, the main processes for preparing spherical titanium powder include gas atomization, plasma rotating electrode method, and radio frequency plasma spheroidization.
Preparation of Spherical Titanium Powder by Gas Atomization
The gas atomization method is currently a more mature industrialized method for preparing titanium powder. It uses high-speed airflow to break the metal stream. Because this method only needs to overcome the bonding force between the liquid metal atoms to make it dispersed, Has a good economy. The gas atomization method is a method that uses high-speed inert gas to atomize the titanium metal liquid, which is crushed and solidified to obtain spherical titanium powder. The gas atomization method has the characteristics of low cost, high production efficiency, high sphericity of titanium powder, low oxygen content and low environmental pollution. The powder suitable for injection molding has only a small proportion of particle size.
Preparation of Spherical Titanium Powder by Plasma Rotating Electrode Method
The metal or alloy is made into a consumable electrode. The end of the electrode is heated by an electric arc and melted into a liquid. The centrifugal force of the high-speed rotation of the electrode throws the liquid out and smashes it into fine droplets, and finally condenses it into a powder.
The plasma rotating electrode method has the following advantages: high powder purity, no pollution, low oxygen content, simple process; long spheroidization time of metal droplets, high powder sphericity, narrow particle size distribution, and high fine powder yield; Compared with atomization, the plasma rotating electrode method does not require high-speed gas flow, thus avoiding hollow powder produced by the "umbrella effect". However, this method has limitations: the electrode rod must be made into a rod of a specific size, and the cost is high; the electrode rod is fixed-length, so the continuity of atomization cannot be guaranteed, and the atomization efficiency is low; the electrode speed is fast and high-speed The shaft is easy to wear during the rotation, so how to maintain the vacuum tightness and cleanliness of the high-speed rotating electrode is still a key issue.
Preparation of spherical titanium powder by radio frequency plasma
Because plasma has the characteristics of high temperature, high enthalpy, high chemical reaction activity, and controllability of the reaction atmosphere and reaction temperature, it has its unique advantages in the synthesis and preparation of powder materials and the spheroidization treatment. The radio frequency plasma spheroidization method uses the induction of radio frequency electromagnetic field to inductively heat various gases to generate radio frequency plasma, and uses high temperature plasma to melt non-spherical powder. The molten powder particles are under extremely high surface tension under the action of surface tension. Under the temperature gradient, it rapidly condenses to form small droplets with high sphericity, thereby obtaining spherical powder.
The advantages of the radio frequency plasma spheroidization method are that it can increase the sphericity and better the fluidity of the powder; it can eliminate the pores of the internal particles and increase the looseness of the powder; it can appropriately change the particle morphology and improve the purity of the powder. In addition, because the atmosphere in the plasma reactor is controllable, the process is more conducive to the rapid and simple preparation of high-purity spherical powders, and has a good industrial prospect.
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