Resistance heated pressing (RHP): A novel technique for fabrication of titanium alloys
A novel powder metallurgical technique for the fabrication of titanium alloys has been developed by utilizing a pressure-assisted, resistance-heating sintering technique. In this technique, the high electrical resistance of oxide layers present on the surface of powder particles has been exploited to ensure effective resistance heating of green compacts. Ti-6Al-4V pre-alloyed powders of 100 µm size were compressed while being heated under a variety of conditions of sintering temperature, pressure and time. The outcomes of our experiments have proven that resistance heating can be a very effective means of heating during powder consolidation. The results have indicated that the required sintering time and temperature in the new resistance-heated sintering technique are much reduced in compared to sinter-press and/or hot isostatic pressing techniques, resulting in a refined microstructure with a concomitant improvement in mechanical properties.