The general sequence of operations involved in the powder metallurgy process is shown schematically in the diagram on the left.
The component powders are mixed, together with lubricant, until a homogeneous mix is obtained. The mix is then loaded into a die and compacted under pressure, after which the compact is sintered.
Exceptions to this are the use of additive manufacturing methods, or the process for making filter elements from spherical bronze powder where no pressure is used; the powder being simply placed in a suitably shaped mould in which it is sintered. This process is known as loose powder sintering.