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Diamond sintering moulds & extrusion chills

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The majority of metals and alloys are still produced today in a casting process from molten material and cast in moulds. The so-called permanent mould process involves the hot metal flowing into the prefabricated permanent mould. Extrusion involves the liquid metal melt being continuously cast into a baseless cooled chill (mould). Common materials utilised for these chills are metals such as cast iron, steel or aluminium and, primarily, graphite, mainly used for manufacturing steel, cast iron, non-ferrous metals and precious metals. The materials must resist high temperatures, retain mechanical stability and not impart any impurities themselves when in contact with the melt. A reaction with the melt must also be ruled out.

For ceramics and hard materials with a low sintering tendency, diamond sintering is utilised in addition to conventional sintering (as with sinter compression of hard metals). The pressure applied during temperature treatment increases the diffusion rate, thus accelerating compression.

The common characteristic of both processes is that the materials utilised as moulds and dies must meet maximum mechanical characteristic requirements. They are subject to severe wear caused by abrasive particles, must resist extreme pressure at high temperatures and withstand extreme jumps in temperature. In addition to different metals (e.g. cast iron and steel), graphite materials are also available which are characterised by good thermal conductivity and positive pressure resistance at high temperatures. An additional advantage is the configurable electrical conductivity of graphite materials over broad ranges. Graphite components can thus be used as electrodes for resistance-heated presses and as integrated elements for inductive-heated presses.

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