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tantalum powder is used for various purposes, including manufacturing capacitors and high-power resistors. It is known for its unique physical properties, such as a high melting point and resistance to corrosion. It is also biocompatible, which makes it ideal for medical implants. The versatility of tantalum has helped drive innovations across multiple industries, including electronics, aerospace, defense, chemical processing, and energy.
Tantalum is typically made into mill products by pressing it to a bar and sintering it at a high temperature to achieve a true density. The resulting material is called a tantalum target and can be processed into wires, rods, sheets, and strips. The powder has a fine grain structure, which allows for a more uniform product and better conductivity than those derived from melted bars or ingots.
In this article, the effect of repeated sintering of tantalum metal on its mechanical characteristics was investigated. The purified hexane-based tantalum powder was subjected to specific surface area and morphological analysis using the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analyzer and scanning electron microscopy (SEM, MIRA3-LM, TESCAN). After carburization, the resulting tantalum carbide powder was characterized by X-ray diffraction and the carbon/nitrogen/oxygen determinator.
The results showed that the tensile and compression test performance of EB-PBF-fabricated tantalum parts were affected by repeated sintering of the powder. The spherical particle morphology of the reused tantalum powder significantly decreased with increasing number of cycles. The oxygen content of the powder also increased with increasing repetitions, resulting in decreases in the density and elongation of the as-built tantalum parts.