This paper presents a new production method for a spherical and monocrystalline aluminum powder. Aluminum powder of irregular particle shapes was mixed with silica nanoparticles and heated to a temperature above the melting point of aluminum. Due to its molten state, high surface tension, and poor wettability, the aluminum particles were transformed into liquid and spherical droplets separated by silica nanoparticles. The spherical shape was then retained when the aluminum particles solidified. The influence of the processing temperature on the particle shape, phase composition, and microstructure was investigated. Moreover, calorimetric, X-ray diffraction, grain size, and scanning electron microscopy with electron backscatter diffraction (SEM-EBSD) measurements of the particles’ microstructure are presented. It is proven that, by this means, a spherical and monocrystalline aluminum powder can be efficiently created directly from an air-atomized irregular powder. The observed phenomenon of particles becoming round is of great importance, especially when considering powder preparation for powder-based additive manufacturing processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Werkstoffwissenschaften (insg.)
Fields of Expertise
- Advanced Materials Science