|Dharmanto||Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
|Sugeng Supriadi||Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
|Ario Sunar Baskoro||Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
The low-cost plasma atomizer in the present study successfully synthesized stainless steel spherical powder using an energy source of less than 3 kVA. Repeated testing was conducted to examine the resulting spherical powder, among other observations, using a digital microscope (Dino-Lite AM4115), scanning electron microscopy (SEM-FEI-Inspect F50), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). To ensure the purity of the resulting 316L stainless steel spherical powder, EDS was used for qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis. The results showed that the 316L stainless steel spherical powder particles varied in size from 26 µm to 180 µm with average particle diameters of approximately 82.6 µm, making them ideal for biomedical applications. The results of the feed metal flow rate on the powder weight percentages for particle sizes <50 µm for 2 mm3/s feed metal flow, 3 mm3/s feed metal flow, and 4 mm3/s feed metal flow were 26.04%, 28.04%, and 13.09%, respectively. It is possible that this could occur because greater metal flow rates require greater plasma energy to form liquid metal droplets, so that a lower metal flow rate at the same energy consumption makes it possible to produce more metal powder in smaller particles.
Plasma atomizer; Powder technology; Spherical particle; Stainless steel powder
The metal manufacturing industry is currently interested in developing metal powder technology for production cost efficiency. One of the applications of metal powder technology is as a feedstock for metal injection molding (MIM) (Suharno et al., 2019; Supriadi et al., 2019). MIM can produce lower surface roughness values ??compared to investment casting (Suharno et al., 2018). MIM is advantageous mainly due to its significant technological cost savings compared with the use of machinery (Schieleper, 2006; Supriadi et al., 2015). Metal powder technology enables reductions in waste material production. Metal powder technology can be classified as a green technology because it can reduce more residual waste material than other conventional fabrication technologies such as five-axis CNC machining (Higashitani et al., 2019). At this time, the atomization process is a suitable choice for producing metal powder because atomization is capable of producing large amounts of powder with high purity (Boulos, 2004). Atomization processes for making metal powder include water atomization, gas atomization (Zhao et al., 2007), centrifugal atomization (Sungkhaphaitoon et al., 2013), plasma atomization, and plasma rotating electrodes process atomization (Dawes et al., 2015).
The atomization process that uses a plasma arc has a high heat source density that can melt various metals with a high melting point (Lü et al., 2013). The plasma arc used in this study was a type of thermal plasma that is commonly used, including in cutting (Wang et al., 2000), welding (Luo, 2003), surface hardening (Ismail & Taha, 2014), nanopowder synthesis (Liu et al., 2015; Saryanto & Sebayang, 2017), and surface treatment of biomedical materials (Chu et al., 2002).
A plasma atomizer is capable of producing a powder with particle diameters of 50 µm (Chen et al., 2018). Powder with particles of this size can be applied as the primary raw material for making medical devices (Grenier & Allaire, 1997Baskoro & Supriadi, 2019). One of the characteristics of high-quality metal powder is the perfect spherical shapes of the particles and a narrow size distribution, which can improve the flowability of the powder.
The current challenge of using plasma atomization is its high cost, partly because the process requires a large energy source. The energy sources used generally have a power of approximately 20 kVA-600 kVA (Tsantrizos et al., 1998Dignard & Boulos, 2000; Boulos, 2004; Dawes et al., 2015). In the present study, a plasma atomizer with low-cost equipment was designed and built as a solution to the high cost of plasma atomization. A plasma atomizer was fabricated with a power of 3 kVA without the need to use a melt bath, so the plasma atomization process is faster than the gas atomization or water atomization processes. The plasma atomization process has been made to produce stainless steel spherical powder particles with a diameter of less than 50 µm.
The results of the experiments in this study show that the plasma atomizer successfully synthesized the spherical metal powder using an energy source of less than 3 kVA. The plasma atomizer can produce perfectly spherical stainless steel powder particles. The sizes of the resulting 316L stainless steel spherical powder particles vary from 26 µm to 180 µm. The average particle diameter is approximately 82.6 µm. The results of the flow rate on the powder weight percentages at particle sizes <50 µm for 2 mm3/s feed metal flow, 3 mm3/s feed metal flow, and 4 mm3/s feed metal flow are 26.04%, 28.04%, and 13.09%, respectively. It is possible that this could occur because greater metal flow rates require greater plasma energy to form liquid metal droplets, so that a lower metal flow rate makes it possible to produce more metal powder in smaller particles. The resulting 316L stainless steel spherical powder is likely to be used in biomedical manufacturing applications. Based on the above research, fascinating research could be conducted to find the optimal parameters in the plasma atomization in order to produce particle sizes that are suitable for biomedical equipment manufacturing applications.
This research was supported by the Ministry of Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia through the Excellent Applied Research in Higher Education scheme (contract number: NKB-1744/ UN2.R3.1/ HKP.05.00/ 2019).
Baskoro, A.S., Masuda R., Suga Y., 2011. Comparison of Particle Swarm Optimization and Genetic Algorithm for Molten Pool Detection in Fixed Aluminum Pipe Welding. International Journal of Technology, Volume 2(1), pp. 74–83
Baskoro, A.S., Supriadi S., 2019. Review on Plasma Atomizer Technology for Metal Powder. In: Proceedings of the MATEC Web of Conferences, 2019: EDP Sciences, 05004
Baskoro A.S., Tandian R., Edyanto A., Saragih A.S., 2019. Automatic Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding using Machine Vision and Neural Network on Material SS304. In: Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Advanced Computer Science and Information Systems (ICACSIS), 2016: IEEE, pp. 427–32
Becker, B., D Bolton J., 1997. Corrosion Behaviour and Mechanical Properties of Functionally Gradient Materials Developed for Possible Hard-tissue Applications. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, Volume 8(12), pp. 793–797
Boulos, M., 2004. Plasma Power Can Make Better Powders. Metal Powder Report 59, pp. 16–21
Brooks, A. J., Ge J., Kirka M. M., Dehoff R. R., Bilheux H. Z., Kardjilov N., Manke I., Butler, L.G., 2017. Porosity Detection in Electron Beam-melted Ti-6Al-4V using High-resolution Neutron Imaging and Grating-based Interferometry. Progress in Additive Manufacturing, Volume 2(3), pp. 125–132
Chen, G., Zhao, S., Tan, P., Wang, J., Xiang, C., Tang, H., 2018. A Comparative Study of Ti-6Al-4V Powders for Additive Manufacturing by Gas Atomization, Plasma Rotating Electrode Process and Plasma Atomization. Powder Technology, Volume 333, pp. 38–46
Chu, P.K., Chen, J., Wang, L., Huang, N., 2002. Plasma-surface Modification of Biomaterials. Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports 36, pp. 143–206
Cunningham, R., Narra, S.P., Montgomery, C., Beuth, J., Rollett, A., 2017a. Synchrotron-based X-ray Microtomography Characterization of the Effect of Processing Variables on Porosity Formation in Laser Power-bed Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V. JOM, Volume 69(3), pp. 479–484
Cunningham, R., Nicolas, A., Madsen, J., Fodran, E., Anagnostou, E., Sangid, M.D., Rollett, A.D., 2017b. Analyzing the Effects of Powder and Post-processing on Porosity and Properties of Electron Beam Melted Ti-6Al-4V. Materials Research Letters, Volume 5(7), pp. 516–525
Dawes, J., Bowerman, R., Trepleton, R., 2015. Introduction to the Additive Manufacturing Powder Metallurgy Supply Chain. Johnson Matthey Technology Review, Volume 59(3), pp. 243–256
Dewidar, M., 2012. Influence of Processing Parameters and Sintering Atmosphere on the Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Porous 316L Stainless Steel for Possible Hard-tissue Applications. International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, Volume 12, pp. 10–24
Dignard, N., Boulos, M., 2000. Powder Spheroidization using Induction Plasma Technology. In: Proceedings of the ITSC 2000: 1st International Thermal Spray Conference, 2000, pp. 887–893
Dion, D.A.C., Francois, P., 2019. Method for Cost-Effective Production of Ultrafine Spherical Powders at Large Scale using Thruster-assisted Plasma Atomization. Google Patents
Grenier, S., Allaire, F., 1997. Plasma Atomization Gives Unique Spherical Powders. Metal Powder Report 52, pp. 34–37
Heaney, D., 2012. Designing for Metal Injection Molding (MIM). Handbook of Metal Injection Molding. Elsevier, pp. 29–49
Higashitani, K., Makino, H., Matsusaka, S., 2019. Powder Technology Handbook. CRC Press.
Hutmacher, D.W., 2000. Scaffolds in Tissue Engineering Bone And Cartilage. The Biomaterials: Silver Jubilee Compendium. Elsevier, 175–189
Ismail, M.I.S., Taha, Z., 2014. Surface Hardening of Tool Steel by Plasma Arc with Multiple Passes. International Journal of Technology, Volume 5(1), pp. 79–87
Knight, R., Smith, R., Apelian, D., 1991. Application of Plasma Arc Melting Technology to Processing of Reactive Metals. International Materials Reviews, Volume 36(1), pp. 221–252
Liu, S.X., Liu, J.L., Li, X.S., Zhu, X., Zhu, A.M., 2015. Gliding Arc Plasma Synthesis of Visible-Light Active C?doped Titania Photocatalysts. Plasma Processes and Polymers, Volume 12(5), pp. 422–430
Lü, Y.-H., Liu, Y.-X., Xu, F.-J., Xu, B.-S., 2013. Plasma Transferred Arc Forming Technology for Remanufacture. Advances in Manufacturing, Volume 1(2), pp. 187–190
Luo, W., 2003. The Corrosion Resistance of 0Cr19Ni9 Stainless Steel Arc Welding Joints with and Without Arc Surface Melting. Materials Science and Engineering: A, Volume 345(1–2), pp. 1–7
Saryanto, H., Sebayang, D., 2017. The Simple Fabrication of Nanorods Mass Production for the Dye-sensitized Solar Cell. In: Proceedings of the MATEC Web of Conferences, 2017: EDP Sciences, 03006
Schieleper, G., 2006. A Manufacturing Process for Precision Engineering Components. Powder Metallurgy Association, United Kingdom
Suharno, B., Mawardi, F., Dewantoro, S., Irawan, B., Doloksaribu, M., Supriadi, S., 2019. Effect of Powder Loading on Local Feedstock Injection Behavior for Fabrication Process of Orthodontic Bracket SS 17-4 PH using Metal Injection Molding. In: Proceedings of the AIP Conference Proceedings, 2019: AIP Publishing, 020030
Suharno, B., Suharno, L.P., Saputro, H.R., Irawan, B., Prasetyadi, T., Ferdian, D., Supriyadi, S., 2018. Surface Quality and Microstructure of Low-vacuum Sintered Orthodontic Bracket 17-4 PH Stainless Steel Fabricated by MIM Process. In: Proceedings of the AIP Conference Proceedings, 2018: AIP Publishing, 020030
Sungkhaphaitoon, P., Likhidkan W., Kitjaidiaw S., Wisutmethangoon S., Plookphol T., 2013. Effect of Atomizer Disc Geometry on Zinc Metal Powder Production by Centrifugal Atomization. In: Proceedings of the Applied Mechanics and Materials, Volume 271–272, pp. 232–236
Supriadi, S., Dewantoro, S., Mawardi, F. A., Irawan, B., Doloksaribu, M., Suharno, B., 2019. Preparation of Feedstock using Beeswax Binder and SS 17-4PH Powder for Fabrication Process of Orthodontic Bracket by Metal Injection Molding. In: Proceedings of the AIP Conference Proceedings, 2019: AIP Publishing, 020029
Supriadi S., Sitanggang T.W., Irawan B., Suharno B., Kiswanto G., Prasetyadi T., 2015. Orthodontic Bracket Fabrication using the Investment Casting Process. International Journal of Technology, Volume 6(4), pp. 613–621
Tammas-Williams, S., Withers, P., Todd, I., Prangnell, P., 2016. Porosity Regrowth during Heat Treatment of Hot Isostatically Pressed Additively Manufactured Titanium Components. Scripta Materialia, Volume 122, pp. 72–76
Tsantrizos, P.G., Allaire, F., Entezarian, M., 1998. Method of Production of Metal and Ceramic Powders by Plasma Atomization. Google Patents
Wang, J., Kusumoto, K., Nezu, K. 2000. Plasma Arc Cutting Torch Tracking Control. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control. Proceedings (Cat. No. 00TH8494), 2000: IEEE, 345–350