Copper is a kind of non-ferrous metal and is a kind of heavy metal that has inactive chemical property, which will not react with oxygen under normal temperature and will only generate black copper oxide or verdigris when it is heated or under humid environment. As copper has good thermal and electrical conductivity as well as excellent corrosion resistance and machining property, copper and copper alloy products are widely used in electrical engineering, light industry, machine manufacturing and other industries.
Due to the good machining property of copper, the traditional processing methods mainly include forging and casting. Generally speaking, copper will be made into copper wire or irregular parts that have complex shape. As copper is easy to combine with other elements and form copper alloy as well as will combine with different kinds of elements and will form different kinds of copper alloy materials, it has been more and more widely used and will reflect in different product forms.
For example, copper-nickel alloy will have good sea water corrosion resistance; copper-tin alloy will have high strength and good corrosiveness; zinc-copper alloy, which can also be called brass powder, is often used in producing water pipe, locking piece and valves; copper alloy will have equal strength with high-strength steel after being added with different proportions of nickel, tin, titanium, beryllium and cobalt, besides, it will have high electrical and thermal conductivity as well as is often used in producing various electronic components.
With the development of powder metallurgy technology in recent years, MIM technology, being served as the most representative forming technology of powder injection molding technology, also has achieved significant development. By using traditional powder forming technology or MIM technology, copper powder can be made into electronic parts and thermal conductive parts that have different forms, while copper alloy powder that is formed by combining other elements can be widely used in automobiles, mechanical equipment, electronic technology, tool making and other industries.
The manufacturing of self-lubricated bearing can be regarded as one of the typical applications of copper powder. A certain amount of porosity should be kept in the structure of this kind of bearing so as to ensure enough oil content, which can be realized by controlling the particle size of powders. Therefore, self-lubricated bearing is generally produced by using injection molding technology.
Electrical or electronic parts of copper or copper alloy material that made by MIM technology will have more compact texture, more uniform structure as well as the thermal and electrical conductivity will be greatly improved. In modern industry production, MIM technology is having more and more important effect on producing copper and copper alloy products.
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