Powder metallurgy (PM) is a state-of-the-art technology for producing net-shape (or
near net-shape) metal parts from metal powder. In this manufacturing process, metal
powders are bonded by press and sinter, laser, electron beam, etc., to make high precision parts.
The rapid growth of metal 3D printing and other PM processes is increasing the demand for
higher-quality powders with more predictable and controlled particle morphology and size distribution.
My PhD research focuses on optimization of water atomization process, a technique for metal powder production. The goal is to control the process in order to enhance the size characteristics of the powder.
To achieve this goal, an interdisciplinary approach is taken involving the following steps:
(1) Modelling water atomization process using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
(2) Building a laboratory-scale water atomizer
(3) Collecting process data and powder samples from an industrial water atomization plant
(4) Performing data analysis and optimization techniques
For this project, I collaborate with Process Metallurgy Research Lab (PMRL) at the department of
materials science and engineering, department of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Rio Tinto Metal Powders (RTMP), one of the main global suppliers of specialty metal powders.
Modelling water atomization process using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
Building a laboratory scale water atomizer
Collecting process data and powder samples from an industrial water atomization plant
Performing data analysis and optimization techniques
For my project, I am working with Ali on water atomization for metal powder production. Metal powder is the primary material for the additive manufacturing process. By building and studying the lab-scale water atomizer, our goals are to control the process and make it possible to produce high
quality and inexpensive metal powder for 3D printing.