New powders, process modeling methods and development of near-net-shape manufacturing methods are leading the way to wider use of rhenium and rhenium alloy components.
Rhenium and rhenium alloys offer attractive high-temperature pro-perties for use in aerospace applications. However, traditional methods used to make components are time consuming and have high production costs. Historically, rhenium has been produced in standard rod, bar, plate and sheet forms, and components were made from these shapes using electrical discharge machining (EDM) to produce the required shapes to specified tolerances. The method works well, but is time consuming and has a low yield. Therefore, manufacturers are continually looking for ways to improve productivity and reduce costs. Some approaches to reach these goals were discussed in several papers at PM2TEC2001, and are presented below.