Nowadays, powder metallurgy (PM) is used in many industrial applications. Conventional PM processes, such as cold pressing and sintering are used frequently in series production due to nearly waste-free use of initial materials and limited or no requirements on further processing by machining. However, these simple processes do not bring significant improvement of mechanical properties and also keep relatively high levels of residual porosity. In production of highly demanding materials, such as high-strength alloys, intermetallics or special composites, modern methods of powder metallurgy are under rapid development. Among powder metallurgy techniques used for powder production, mechanical alloying, which allows for the production of nanocrystalline alloys and intermetallics, composites or oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) materials, plays very important role. Among the sintering methods, Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) process became a leading tool because of extremely short sintering times, as well as reduced sintering temperature. Thanks to these facts, the unique properties of nanocrystalline powders can be preserved. Currently, there exist interesting variants of SPS, such as High Pressure SPS and hybrid devices combining SPS and induction heating. In production of intermetallics, there is also a possibility to use the Self-propagating High-temperature Synthesis (SHS) process. In these processes of reaction synthesis, energy is supplied to the compressed mixture of pure metallic powders or other precursors by heating or by electric discharge. In this paper, the applications of the above described methods are presented on aluminium alloys, titanium- and iron-based intermetallics and aluminide-ceramics composites.Keywords: Powder metallurgy; mechanical alloying; spark plasma sintering; SHS
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