What’s Spark Plasma Sintering?

Print anything with Printful

Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a fast and cost-effective technique that uses direct current pulses to create spark energy between particles of a material, resulting in high-density structures. It can be applied to ceramics, composites, and nanostructures, and produces uniform heating and density. SPS has low operating costs, short completion times, and can be used for both insulators and conductors.

Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a sintering technique where materials are compacted and condensed into higher densities. Systems designed for spark plasma sintering use direct current (DC) pulses to create spark energy between particles of the material. This technology allows for rapid fusion between particles, and unlike other sintering processes involved solely in metalworking, spark plasma sintering can be applied to ceramics, composite materials and nanostructures.

The process works on the principle of electric spark discharge, in which a high-energy pulsating current creates plasma sparks in the spaces between particles in the material. This spark plasma exists at incredibly high temperatures of 10,000°C (18,032°F), causing potential oxidations or contaminants to vaporize on particle surfaces. The surfaces of the particles are also heated, causing these areas to melt and melt into structures known as necks. Over time, necks will develop in the spaces, increasing the total solid density of the material above 99% in some cases.

The advantages of the spark plasma sintering process include short completion times, low operating costs, wide range of applications, and good structural and material results. Due to the nature of the process, spark plasma sintering generally takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Costs are also generally lower with this technology, as the pulsating current does not require a high voltage and the process does not take long to complete. This short cycle time, coupled with the low cost, makes the process efficient for a wide range of uses.

Spark plasma sintering can produce much higher densities than many other sintering processes, making it ideal for materials where a high density of solids is desired. This process can be used for both insulators and conductors, opening up as many materials as possible to sinter. The precision of the heating process also makes spark plasma sintering applicable to nanostructures, such as crystals, which can be sintered without losing their structural integrity.

The fact that spark plasma is able to generate intense heat from within a material, rather than from the outside, produces several beneficial results. First, the risk of heating the interior of the particles is minimized, as only the surfaces of the particles are heated. Second, the nature of the heating means that the material will be heated evenly all at once, increasing structural integrity and density uniformity. Third, the process allows for greater control of various conditions, including pressure, heat, and cooling, which ultimately leads to greater control of material density.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content