Today fine spherical iron powders are produced dominantly by the carbonyl process. It is used for innovative solutions for a wide spectrum of different applications like diamond tools, magnetorheological fluids, materials absorbing microwaves but mostly for metal injection molding (MIM). Herewith the high powder price has a considerably share on the product costs and is therefore a limiting fact.
In this paper the powder properties and sintering results of a fine spherical iron powder which is produced by using iron oxide as a by-product of steelmakers and a patented hydrogen reduction processes will be discussed. Further powder processing steps were identified to separate the sinter cake and adjust the powder properties. Milling technologies and parameters were evaluated which support the particle shearing and spheroidization. The characterized sintered parts demonstrate the high potential of the cost-efficient powder with comparable properties to that of the carbonyl iron powder.