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Metal Alloy Powder

Vladimir Mackiw’s development of processes to produce metal alloy powders stemmed from his work as part of the team that devised a solution to processes for treating nickel mattes and concentrates, zinc concentrates, and refractory gold ores and concentrates.

Mackiw and his team of researchers at Sherritt Gordon took their understanding of nickel and other metal production processes and applied that to the development of various metallic powders.

One of the early patents for nickel powder production, filed in the late 1960s, alludes to discoveries made in the course of other research for separating nickel from other solutions. "The present invention is based on the discovery that the physical characteristics of nickel powder precipitated by hydrogen reduction from a system comprised of a suspension of basic nickel carbonates in aqueous ammonium carbonate solution can be controlled by controlling the operating conditions and system composition."

The demand for specialized pure nickel product was increasing, especially for production of nickel cadmium batteries, the patent file noted. What Mackiw and his team had discovered was that there was a method of producing nickel powder with uniform particle size and nearly 100 percent purity. Nickel powder produced under this method could then be formed, under heat and pressure, into very specialized shapes, including thin sheets and strips.

Subsequent research by Mackiw and his team of researchers led to the development of a range of metal alloy powders which could be rolled into specialized component parts for various industries.

A composite nickel alloy rolling process developed at Sherritt Gordon was used for the production of Canada’s one dollar coin.

The Sherritt Gordon research centre, under Mackiw’s guidance, also patented a method for producing fine copper powder for use in variety of specialized applications.

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