Princeton, New Jersey
A dipole cryomagnet end cover (photo attached) won a Grand Prize in the 2007 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards competition, sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF). The part is fabricated by Bodycote HIP-Surahammar in Sweden for Metso Materials Technology Oy, Finland, for delivery to the particle physics center of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Switzerland. The end cover is used in the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest energy sub-atomic particle accelerator.
Made from 316LN stainless steel powder, the part is hot isostatically pressed (HIPed) to full density. The superconducting dipole cryomagnets operate in a cryogenic environment at minus 450°F. As HIPed to a near-net shape of 253.5 pounds, the finished end cover weighs 153.3 pounds. Bodycote incorporated finite element analysis, computer aided design, numerically controlled sheet metal cutting technology and cutting-edge robotic welding and part manipulation to produce the end covers. This resulted in a more than 50 times increase over the typical production rate of fully-dense HIPed powder metallurgy (PM) near-net shapes, an unprecedented breakthrough in productivity. About 2,700 end covers have been delivered to CERN. The design of the part features several complex configurations. For example, both the inner and outer surface of the broad face is radiused with the inner surface approximately parallel to the outer surface. The exterior of the curved surface has either eight or 10 projections, depending upon which version of the part is produced. The design differs slightly depending on which side of the dipole magnet it is located. The PM HIPed part meets the equivalent mechanical properties of 316LN wrought stainless steel, including internal toughness and high ductility.
PM is an automated metalworking process that forms metal powders into precision components used in auto engines and transmissions, garden tractors, chain saws and biomedical products. More than 800 million pounds of PM parts are made annually in North America.
The competition is sponsored annually by the MPIF, international trade association for the metal powder producing and consuming industries.