Term: Sintering

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**Sintering Process Overview**:
– Sintering enhances properties like strength and thermal conductivity.
– Atomic diffusion drives powder surface elimination during firing.
– Densification is driven by a decrease in surface area and energy.
– Temperature and initial grain size are controlled for desired bond area.
– Sintering is crucial in pottery, ceramics, and metallic powder processing.

**Applications and Advantages of Sintering**:
– Sintering is used in manufacturing metals, ceramics, and plastics.
– Powder metallurgy studies sintering in metallurgical processes.
– Sintering is chosen for materials with high melting points like tungsten.
– Advantages include high purity, uniformity, and controlled porosity.
– Sintering technology is observed in natural phenomena like snow compaction.

**Advanced Sintering Techniques**:
– Liquid Phase Sintering involves rearrangement and final densification stages.
– Electric Current Assisted Sintering uses electric currents to aid sintering.
– Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) enhances densification with electric field-driven effects.
– Electro Sinter Forging allows for low sintering times in producing composites.
– Pressureless Sintering avoids density variations seen in traditional methods.

**Microwave Sintering and Densification Mechanisms**:
– Microwave sintering generates internal heat for faster heating in small loads.
– Densification and grain growth are crucial for material properties.
– Sintering mechanisms include surface diffusion and grain boundary diffusion.
– Factors like capillary pressure and liquid phase impact densification.

**Specialized Sintering Applications**:
– Plastics Sintering is used for specific porosity applications like filtration.
– Reducing Grain Growth involves adding solute ions or second phase particles.
– Sintering of Catalysts affects surface area and reactivity of catalyst materials.
– Techniques like Microwave Sintering are effective in maintaining fine grains.
– Sintering of liquid-phase materials considers capillary pressure and viscosity control.

Sintering (Wikipedia)

Sintering or frittage is the process of compacting and forming a solid mass of material by pressure or heat without melting it to the point of liquefaction. Sintering happens as part of a manufacturing process used with metals, ceramics, plastics, and other materials. The nanoparticles in the sintered material diffuse across the boundaries of the particles, fusing the particles together and creating a solid piece.

Heat and compaction fuse small particles into a dense bulk
Clinker nodules produced by sintering

Since the sintering temperature does not have to reach the melting point of the material, sintering is often chosen as the shaping process for materials with extremely high melting points, such as tungsten and molybdenum. The study of sintering in metallurgical powder-related processes is known as powder metallurgy.

An example of sintering can be observed when ice cubes in a glass of water adhere to each other, which is driven by the temperature difference between the water and the ice. Examples of pressure-driven sintering are the compacting of snowfall to a glacier, or the formation of a hard snowball by pressing loose snow together.

The material produced by sintering is called sinter. The word sinter comes from the Middle High German sinter, a cognate of English cinder.

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