Each production batch of APA™ powders is segmented into specific particle size distributions (PSD) using vibratory ultrasonic assisted stainless steel sieves. The various PSD requested by our customers depend mostly on the powder metallurgy techniques they are using to produce final parts. Sieving is performed by specially trained staff in a controlled environment to eliminate any risk of contamination. Mechanical sieves are ideal to separate particle size distributions above 45 µm. We typically tolerate a maximum of 5% total weight of the powder above and below the requested range. Particle size distribution sieves testing is done in accordance with ASTM standard B-214-07. AP&C’s current standard sieves include:
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In order to separate sub 25 µm particles we use a gas classification technique. AP&C operates its proprietary gas classifiers that can be used to remove 0-5 µm, 0-10 µm or 0-15 µm fine particles content. Removal of fine particles for reactive metal such as titanium can enhance the final chemistry and flowability properties of fine distributions. At AP&C, fine particle size distribution testing is done using laser diffraction in accordance with ASTM standard B-822-10.
In order to ensure an homogeneous chemistry and particle size distribution within a specific lot, we blend many production batches with a cross-flow V-Blender. All samples used to determine the chemistry and particle size distribution of a specific lot are taken after blending and according to ASTM B215-10. AP&C can produce lot sizes ranging from 100 kg to 1300 kg with full traceability of the different batches blended. AP&C is able to meet narrow PSD specifications, so do not hesitate to contact our technical department if you have any particular needs.