A novel methodology is proposed for investigating the effect of the pulsed electric current during the spark plasma sintering (SPS) of electrically conductive powders without potential misinterpretation of experimental results. First, ensemble configurations (geometry, size and material of the powder sample, die, plunger and spacers) are identified where the electric current is forced to flow only through either the sample or the die, so that the sample is heated either through the Joule effect or by thermal conduction, respectively. These ensemble configurations are selected using a recently proposed mathematical model of an SPS apparatus, which, once suitably modified, makes it possible to carry out detailed electrical and thermal analysis. Next, SPS experiments are conducted using the ensemble configurations theoretically identified. Using aluminum powders as a case study, we find that the temporal profiles of sample shrinkage, which indicate densification behavior, as well as the final density of the sample are clearly different when the electric current flows only through the sample or through the die containing it, whereas the temperature cycle and mechanical load are the same in both cases.

A methodology to investigate the intrinsic effect of the pulsed electric current during the spark plasma sintering of electrically conductive powders

LOCCI, ANTONIO MARIO;CINCOTTI, ALBERTO;ORRU', ROBERTO;CAO, GIACOMO
2010

Abstract

A novel methodology is proposed for investigating the effect of the pulsed electric current during the spark plasma sintering (SPS) of electrically conductive powders without potential misinterpretation of experimental results. First, ensemble configurations (geometry, size and material of the powder sample, die, plunger and spacers) are identified where the electric current is forced to flow only through either the sample or the die, so that the sample is heated either through the Joule effect or by thermal conduction, respectively. These ensemble configurations are selected using a recently proposed mathematical model of an SPS apparatus, which, once suitably modified, makes it possible to carry out detailed electrical and thermal analysis. Next, SPS experiments are conducted using the ensemble configurations theoretically identified. Using aluminum powders as a case study, we find that the temporal profiles of sample shrinkage, which indicate densification behavior, as well as the final density of the sample are clearly different when the electric current flows only through the sample or through the die containing it, whereas the temperature cycle and mechanical load are the same in both cases.
electric current; Joule effect; modeling; spark plasma sintering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/27593
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