An alternative to hot isostatic pressing for powder consolidation is presented. The process involves axial compression of a hard granular medium surrounding the powder preform to be consolidated. The grain is trapped within a die so that axial compression produces lateral pressure as well. Thus, conventional forging presses and techniques may be used rather than the more expensive and time-consuming techniques of hot isostatic pressing. Experimental measurements have been performed on consolidation of 4650 steel powder cylinders. The resulting data on axial strain, lateral strain, densification and pressure provide the information necessary for process and preform design for actual components.