Cold isostatic pressing services apply extremely high pressures using cold isostatic pressing (CIP) or similar technologies to sterilize products or cold compact powders. Supplier specifications include service capabilities, materials processed, and regions served. Pressure range and capacity are also important parameters to consider when specifying cold isostatic pressing services. The maximum operating pressure required to achieve a desired density during part production varies with material and part geometry. Capacity or chamber size includes two dimensions: chamber diameter and chamber height. The chamber’s internal diameter determines the maximum diameter, and the internal length determines the width.
Cold isostatic pressing services vary in terms of capabilities. Some suppliers can design or fabricate rubber or elastomer molds, mandrels, bags, tooling and fixtures. Others specialize in decanning or chemical milling operations. Densification or porosity removal services use cold isostatic pressing (CIP) to densify or close porosity within a powder body, sinter part, joint or casting. Graded compositions and transition joints can also be produced via CIP by varying the alloy composition as a can or mold is filled with powders. Cold isostatic pressing services may also provide net or near-net shape fabrication. Near-net shaping requires less material for part-shaping than machining from stock forms.
Some cold isostatic pressing services offer powder consolidation, powder preparation or blending, laboratory or developmental, production processing, or piggybacking services. In powder compacting, cold isostatic presses are used to produce shapes that are more complex, or to increase final density. CIP is also used for blending or preparing powders for subsequent processing. Laboratory or developmental cold isostatic pressing services may perform process parameter studies or produce powder samples. Production-scale facilities are also available. Cold isostatic pressing services that offer piggybacking use the excess space within current production runs to process small batches.
Material capabilities are important to consider when selecting cold isostatic pressing services. Aluminum and magnesium alloys, carbides and cutting tools, carbon and graphite, ceramics, and composites are just some of the materials and components that are produced with CIP. Some cold isostatic pressing services specialize in coatings and thermal spray deposits, copper alloys, or diamond and diamond-like materials. Others work with electronic or electrical materials, explosives or pyrotechnics, or specialty and proprietary materials.