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The Hot Isostatic Pressing process was developed by an American company in the 1970s for the aerospace industry.

The HIP process provides a method for producing components from diverse powdered materials, including metals and ceramics. During the manufacturing process, a powder mixture of several elements is placed in a container, typically a steel can. The container is subjected to elevated temperature and a very high vacuum to remove air and moisture from the powder. The container is then sealed and HIP'ed The application of high inert gas pressures and elevated temperatures results in the removal of internal voids and creates a strong metallurgical bond throughout the material. The result is a clean homogeneous material with a uniformly fine grain size and a near 100% density.

There is also Cold Isostatic Pressing.

Metal powders are contained in an enclosure e.g. a rubber membrane or a metallic can that is subjected to isostatic, that is uniform in all directions, external pressure. As the pressure is isostatic the as-pressed component is of uniform density. Irregularly shaped powder particles must be used to provide adequate green strength in the as-pressed component. This will then be sintered in a suitable atmosphere to yield the required product.

Normally this technique is only used for semi-fabricated products such as bars, billets, sheet, and roughly shaped components, all of which require considerable secondary operations to produce the final, accurately dimensioned component. Again, at economical working pressures, products are not fully dense and usually need additional working such as hot extrusion, hot rolling or forging to fully density the material.

Eats cheroots and leaves.
by NeutralObserver on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 04:35:13 PM EST
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