Powder Developments

Magnequench has two state-of-the-art arc melters at the Tech Center, each capable of producing 300 grams of alloy ingot within minutes. These furnaces are used to efficiently alloy together the desired chemical formulations, which are designed to target certain sets of magnetic and/or physical properties. Following the arc melting of alloy ingots, the material can be rapidly solidified in the Tech Center's lab scale Melt Spinner. This operation transforms the alloy pieces metallic ribbon.

Producing development-scale alloy batches enables us to respond quickly to customer enquiries and sample requests.

Parameters such as wheel speed, melting atmosphere and temperature can be optimized for each particular alloy composition and this information can be then translated into large-scale production, as required.

The development scale melt spinner allows us to rapidly produce and evaluate new powder compositions. The alloy is melted in a crucible above a rapidly spinning wheel (casting surface) before being ejected on to the wheel surface. Metallic ribbon is directed off the wheel into a collection chamber. The ribbon can then be crushed into powder form and its magnetic properties evaluated. Our melt spinner is capable of rapidly quenching 300-gram batches of alloy at any one time.

The Tech Center also has state-of-the-art analytical equipment. Our VSM (Vibrating Sample Magnetometer), for example, enables us to measure the demagnetization curves for any magnetic powder over a range of temperatures. Values for Br, Hci, and (BH)max are obtained during the measurement, and the initial magnetization curve can also be measured. When characterizing powders for high temperature applications, the VSM at the Tech Center can provide data from measurements up to 200°C.

Additional analytical equipment that we have for high level materials characterization include an X-Ray Diffractiometer (XRD), a Differential Scan Calorior (DSC), a Thermo-Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA), and a Differential Thermal Analyzer (DTA). These tools are used to analyze the microstructure and thermal properties of powder, ribbon and alloy samples. Information such as crystal structure, composition, phase transformations, melting temperatures and grain size can be determined to a high degree of accuracy within a few 10s of minutes. These devices can also be used to study powder surface treatment layers.