Metal powder basics

Do you currently use iron or iron sponge in your formulations? Have you considered if iron powders would be a better option? Get the basic information you need about metal powders in your manufacturing process.

What are metal powders?

Quite frankly, they are metals—such as iron—broken down to a powder consistency.

Where are metal powders used?

This really depends on the metal used to create the powder. Rio Tinto Metal Powders are created from high-purity ilmenite ore—a titanium-iron oxide mineral. Our iron powder is used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Automotive parts such as brakes, engines (pistons, cylinder heads, and connecting), transmission gears, and suspensions

  • Batteries, capacitors, and energy storage

  • Electronics

  • Magnets and magnetic products

  • Metallurgy

  • Tool and die manufacturing

  • Metallurgy

Where are Rio Tinto metal powders made?

We mine ilmenite from our mine in Quebec, Canada. We then treat the ore at one of our two manufacturing facilities—in Canada or China, depending on where our customer is located.

We’re currently using iron sponge. Can we switch to iron powder?

Rio Tinto offers iron powders of comparable green strength and compressibility to traditional sponge iron. Please inquire with our sales team for more comprehensive information.

Does Rio Tinto offer any powders for electric vehicle (EV) motors?

Yes, we have developed several grades of Soft Magnetic Components (SMCs) for EV traction motor application, and we have commercialized SMC projects with a major motor manufacturer.