In contrast to other metalforming techniques, P/M parts are shaped directly from powders. The basic P/M process uses pressure and heat to form near-net-shape (NNS) parts. Metal powder is squeezed in a rigid precision die at pressures up to 50 tons/in

. After the powder is compressed into shape, it is ejected from the die and fed slowly through a hightemperature, atmospherically controlled furnace. At temperatures below the melting point of the metal, the particles bond, metallurgically fusing or sintering together.