Sintering is a process through which the properties of woven wire cloth can be easily enhanced although it depends largely on the process of molecular diffusion bonding. On the other hand, the same process or sintering can also be used for lamination of multiple wire meshes for the creation of diverse and highly useful permeable materials that are yet to be known by the engineering community. The wintered wire mesh laminates are equipped with a wide range of mechanical properties, sizes of pores, and controlled permeability thereby finding its usability in different applications.
Understanding the process of sintering
Sintering is largely a thermal process that leads to the formation of diffusion bonds. The sintering process is used for the bonding of tangent metal surfaces at their points of contact without the addition of any bonding agent or filler metal. The bonding occurs due to a suitable environment of isostatic pressure and high temperature through a combination of various mechanisms, including surface and volume molecular diffusion, evaporation, volume molecular diffusion, grain growth and recrystallization, recondensation, deformation and plastic flow. During a proper sintering process, all these mechanisms work together to produce a fused joint which is secure at each metal-to-metal contact point.
Such a process may be used to sinter together fibers, wires, and fine screens to create a wide range of materials. The wire meshes can be successfully woven into a variety of metals and alloys and the base material must have the potential of being weaved into a fine wire like structure with enough strength and ductility. Copper, nickel and its alloys, and stainless steel are some of the materials that are frequently converted into a wire mesh-like structure.
Reasons to use sintering process
Sintering process can be performed on various types of woven wire mesh. The primary reason to sinter a woven wire mesh is to bond all those wires where they cross, thereby eliminating the chance of medium migration. When properly sintered, almost every point is going to become securely fused. Even the small discs can be punched from the cloth without any opportunity of fraying. There is no doubt that Sintered Mesh is crucial in various applications such as aircraft hydraulic fluid filtration and medical filtration, in which loose wires can cause catastrophic failure. Additionally, the mesh geometry is permanently fixed once the wires are fused in place. While the sires do not shift under pressure situations, the size of the aperture stays stable during the service.
Sintered packs are also widely used for different kinds of filtration applications and are advantageous due to the following reasons.
The sintered pack is entirely free from medium migration as there is no tendency of the wires to become loose. For viscous fluids such as molten polymer, shear can be imparted uniformly to the filtrate as the pack stays rigid.
The sintered pack can withstand higher pressure ensuring a uniform flow across the surface of the pack.
In a sintered pack, the wires present in the layers are fused together securely and do not shift resulting in uncompromised filtration integrity of the pack.
Summing the uses
The Sintered Mesh represents a diverse, large, and useful class of permeable metallic medium compliant with a wide range of properties. It is true that a number of uses and microfiltration applications of the meshes have already been discovered, there are many more that are yet to be known.