Comparison of thermal and microwave-assisted plasma sintering of nickel-diamond composites

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Title: Comparison of thermal and microwave-assisted plasma sintering of nickel-diamond composites
Authors: Twomey, Barry
Breen, Aidan
Byrne, Greg
Hynes, Alan
Dowling, Denis P.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5268
Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: There is considerable interest in processing technologies which can lead to more energy efficient sintering of metal powders. Microwave sintering has recently been shown to reduce energy usage as the volumetric heating process is considerably more efficient than resistance heating. RF plasma sintering meanwhile has been shown to deliver heat via uniform excitation of the processing gas resulting in ion bombardment of the workpiece. In this study the use of a rapid, novel microwave-assisted plasma sintering (MaPS) technology for processing of nickel-diamond metal matrix composites is evaluated. Nickel powder and polycrystalline diamond were mixed to prepare 20 mm discs under uniaxial compaction pressures of 100, 200 and 300 MPa. The discs were fired in a low pressure microwave plasma under a hydrogen atmosphere. For comparison, discs were also sintered using conventional tube furnace firing. The MaPS sintering is very rapid with full disc strength of >1000N, based on 3-point bend tests, being achieved within 10 minutes compared with 8 hours for furnace treatment. This study demonstrates that the microwave-assisted plasma sintered discs produced similar or superior performance to discs fired using furnace firing conditions but with sintering cycle time reduced by up to 95%.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Maney
Copyright (published version): 2010 Maney Publishing
Keywords: Microwave sintering;RF plasma sintering
DOI: 10.1179/174329010X12820493130451
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Mechanical & Materials Engineering Research Collection

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