Plasma assisted parts' manufacturing: sintering and surface texturing - part I - influence of sintering time and temperature


Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering




The acquirements and potentiality universe of cleaning, heating and/or sputtering effects caused by plasma species bombardment phenomenon on the surface characteristics and finishing of manufactured parts treated in DC abnormal glow discharge opens a new research and development field, called here of Plasma Assisted Parts' Manufacturing (PAP'M). The adequate control of the sputtering mechanism allows the production of different kinds of surface. Therefore, the design of rough or smooth surface, presenting a modified distribution of surface porosity and texturing could be idealized, in accordance with the desired surface characteristics, as the parts are simultaneously sintered and treated. The first part (out of two) of this work performed in hollow cathode discharge (HCD) presents the results of the surface morphology's changes in the pressed iron samples and in the internal surfaces of the external cathodes as a function of the sintering time and temperature. Potential applications include small diameters' cylindrical parts and components like axles, pins, pivots, and tubes and pipes presenting small internal diameters. Sputtering effects were quantified by means of mass loss and Ra and Rz roughness measurements and qualified by means of SEM. The overall work comprises the study of different parameters, including sintering time and temperature (Part I), and inter-cathode distance and pressure (Part II). Results indicate the sputtering mechanism in HCD sintering and surface texturing treatments could be adequately controlled as a function of the plasma parameters, comprising an important contribution to the development of green technologies for surface texturing, surface engineering, and part's manufacturing.

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