Profile Copper powder is finely granulated copper that has many metallurgic functions. The powder is cheaper than regular cast copper, so engineers can save money on supplies, and it often helps conserve materials because less copper will be needed. Copper powder also can be made to have different densities if handled by a powder metallurgist, meaning the copper can be porous and impregnated with oils or other metals, or it can be non-porous like cast copper. Powdered copper is used as an alloy, in metal-plastic combinations, and in structural applications. Production Process Two main industrial processes turn copper, or any other metal, into a powder. In the atomization method, molten copper is pushed through a thin tube and gas pushes against the stream of metal, producing turbulence and causing the molten copper to powder. With centrifugal disintegration, copper rods are placed in a rotating spindle, and an arc heats the rods. By using constant rotation, small bits of the copper will fly off, producing the powder. Hydrometallurgy is another method used to produce copper powder. The process yields a high purity powder, averaging more than 99% copper. Generally, the powder obtained has fine particle sizes with relatively low apparent densities and high green strength. Application Copper powder often is used as an alloying powder and is somewhat easier to work with than cast copper. This is because, in its powdered form, copper is easier to heat up and mix with other metals. Copper is often alloyed with iron & tin and powdered copper can work the same as cast copper in this arena. As a powder, it also can be mixed with non-metals such as plastic to create new substances that are commonly used for decoration. Around 70 percent of powdered copper is used in making self lubricating bearings, which take advantage of powdered copperâ€™s porous nature. Copper/Copper alloy powders are used in many different industries for many different uses. Following are some examples of the powder uses: Brazing, Sintered Products, Friction Products, Soft Magnetic Products, Chemicals, Metallurgy,Filtration, Printing, Surface, Coating, Welding, Copper Fortification etc. Copper powder uses include powder metallurgy (PM), metal injection molding (MIM), friction components, thermal management, diamond cutting tools, lubricants, carbon brush, coatings, catalyst and crazing paste. Market Potential The indigenous production of copper powder is only around 7000 tonnes per annum as against an estimated demand of about 15000 tonnes per annum. This itself shows the huge demand for the product in India. Since there are only a few small scale manufacturing units scattered over the country, the market potential for the product is very large. The annual global production of metal powders for powder metallurgy now exceeds 1 million tonnes.