Method and apparatus for making metallic powder particles wherein a metallic melt is atomized by a rotating disk or other atomizer at an atomizing location in a manner to form molten droplets moving in a direction away from said atomizing location. The atomized droplets pass through a series of thin liquid quenching sheets disposed in succession about the atomizing location with each successive quenching sheet being at an increasing distance from the atomizing location. The atomized droplets are incrementally cooled and optionally passivated as they pass through the series of liquid quenching sheets without distorting the atomized droplets from their generally spherical shape. The atomized, cooled droplets can be received in a chamber having a collection wall disposed outwardly of the series of liquid quenching sheets. A liquid quenchant can be flowed proximate the chamber wall to carry the cooled atomized droplets to a collection chamber where atomized powder particles and the liquid quenchant are separated such that the liquid quenchant can be recycled.
CONTRACTURAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-82 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, which contract grants to Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. the right to apply for this patent.