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Metal Powder Releases Sustainability Report
Jul 7, 2010
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The Metal Powder Industries Federation released a new report, Powder Metallurgy—Intrinsically Sustainable, detailing the contributions PM makes to sustainable manufacturing.

One example: recycled steel and copper scrap is used as starting raw materials for the metal powders produced annually in North America; the federation estimates that 85% of all PM grade metal powders are produced from these recycled materials.

PM’s sustainable value also stems from its net-shape capabilities, very high materials-utilization ratio, and lower energy input.

As an example, a large, 312-g truck component that requires six steps in the PM manufacturing process would require 17 steps when making the same part at 300 grams by forging and machining. PM uses less energy at 1.243 kWh per piece compared to 2.847 kWh for the forged part.

The net-shape capability of PM eliminates the waste associated with machining, which results in as much as 40% of materials being machined away. While machining scrap can be recycled, it is extraneous to the final part and is a net loss to its material and energy eco-efficiency. PM, however, offers a 95% material utilization rate, as well as using less energy than cold and warm extrusion, hot forging, and machining.

MPIF names other environmental benefits:

• Final machining on PM parts are minimal, and usually use less cutting oils per pound produced.
• Most PM plants only emit cooling water to public water/septic systems, minimizing toxic chemical release.

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