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Flash Sintering Executive Summary

Flash Sintering Executive Summary

Name: Flash Sintering
Elevator Pitch: Low Energy, Low Temperature Sintering of Ceramics
Department: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Next Steps: Participate in an Innovation Center of the Rockies Facilitated Meeting Exploring Different Commercialization Strategies for the Technology.

To Indicate an Interest or for More Information: 303.444.2111 or Please include a copy of your resume.

Please click here for a PDF of the Flash Sintering Executive Summary

Dense ceramic bodies are traditionally produced by sintering green powder compacts at high temperatures, in a process that is energy intensive - for example, zirconia requires several hours at 1400°C. In recent years, new techniques that use electromagnetic and electrical fields in tandem with time and temperature have been shown to decrease the time and temperature for sintering. Spark plasma sintering and microwave sintering are examples. These new methods are collectively known as field-assisted sintering techniques (FAST). Although these methods produce sintering in shorter times and at reduced temperatures, their potential for widespread commercialization is debated, mainly due to the high cost and complexity of the equipment and unsolved technical issues.

Researchers at the University of Colorado have found that oxides of industrial interest, such as stabilized zirconia, can be sintered in a matter of seconds, at a furnace temperature of 800°C. Such short processing time and low furnace temperatures are unprecedented and can lead to huge energy savings in the production of technical and traditional ceramics.

The method consists of sintering green ceramic in the presence of electrical fields applied by two electrodes. The sintering temperature decreases as the electrical field is increased. A typical threshold in the intensity of the field is generally observed: above the thresholds, flash-sintering is observed and the greens can be sintered in a matter of seconds. Below the threshold, the field also increases the sintering rate but in a more conventional way at lower temperatures. Some of the materials that have been sintered by this method are: 3mol% yttria stabilized zirconia (3YSZ), 8mol% yttria stabilized zirconia (8YSZ), un-doped zirconia Cerium oxide (CeO2)

•Sintering of monolithic products
•Sintering of ceramic coatings on various substrates
•Protective coatings on steel for solid oxide fuel cells
•Sintering thermal barrier coatings

Technology Benefits
•Reduced Time & Energy Required
•Lower process temperatures
•Full Quality finished product

Ceramics, thermal barriers, sintering, furnace, extrusion, rolling, hot pressing

To Indicate an Interest or for More Information: 303.444.2111 or Please include a copy of your resume.