Microwave Technique: A Powerful Tool for Sintering Ceramic Materials
M. D. Salvador,
F. L. Penaranda-Foix,
J. M. Catala-Civera.
Microwave sintering has emerged in recent years as a promising technology for faster, cheaper and eco-friendlier processing
of a wide variety of materials, which are regarded as significant advantages against conventional sintering procedures. The present investigation
describes a technique for sintering two different ceramic materials by microwave heating: alumina-15vol.% zirconia and hydroxyapatite
nanopowders. The results show that microwave sintering achieves higher density values, excellent mechanical properties
and a homogeneous microstructure at lower sintering temperatures. The densities of microwave processed samples were close to the
theoretical densities, and the near-net-shape of the green body was preserved without significant dimensional changes. The main advantages
of microwave heating can be summarized as follows: a more flexible process, reduced processing times and production costs, and
environmental benefits. Thus, microwaves are a clear alternative to conventional heating methods, using up to 70% less energy throughout
the whole sintering process.
Keywords: Biomaterials, ceramics, grain size, microwave sintering, microstructure, mechanical properties.
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