The use of metal powders is a technique that dates back to prehistoric times. Excavations from the ancient Inca and Egyptian sites have uncovered ornaments and implements produced by this process.
By the 1960’s, powdered metallurgy processing became more of a proven technique with engineers designing components and assemblies specifically for powder metal, rather than merely using powder metal to replace wrought parts. Improved powder properties allowed for greater design possibilities.
A wider acceptance of powder metallurgy is apparent in the types of products using powder metallurgy parts. By the 1970’s along with the automotive, which has continued to be the greatest utilization, powder metallurgy parts were being used in appliances, farm and garden equipment, hardware, tools, cameras, business machines, sporting goods and military products.
The 1980’s have seen growth of powder metallurgy products being used for aircraft turbine engines, as well as growth in both the type and number of parts being used in traditional products like automotive.
After World War II, as employees of the carbon companies became aware of the growing powder metallurgy markets, they realized that their know-how could be transferred to the powder metallurgy business. As employees of these companies gained experience, they would start a company of their own. Today, approximately 40% of all powder metallurgy manufacturing companies are located in the north central region of Pennsylvania. The region has aptly become known as the “Powder Metallurgy Capital of the World”.