Spark Plasma Sintering Enhancing Grain Sliding, Deformation and Grain Size Control : Studies of the Systems Ti, Ti/TiB2, Na0.5 K0.5 NbO3, and Hydroxyapatite

Sammanfattning: The unique features of the Spark plasma sintering (SPS) were used to investigate the sintering and deformation behaviour of titanium and titanium–titanium diboride composites, and to control the sintering and grain growth of ferroelectric Na0.5K0.5NbO3 (NKN) and of hydroxyapatite (HAp). In the SPS the samples experience a temperature different from that recorded by the thermocouple (pyrometer) used and this temperature difference has been estimated for Ti and NKN.   Sintering and deformation of titanium was investigated. Increasing heating rate and/or pressure shifted the sintering to lower temperatures, and the sintering and deformation rates changed when the α→β phase transition temperature was passed. Fully dense Ti/TiB2 composites were prepared. The Ti/TiB2 composites could be deformed at high temperatures, but the hardness decreased due to the formation of TiB.    The kinetic windows within which it is possible to obtain fully dense NKN and HAp ceramics and simultaneously avoid grain growth are defined. Materials have a threshold temperature above which rapid and abnormal grain growth takes place. The abnormal grain growth of NKN is due to a small shift in the stoichiometry, which in turn impairs the ferroelectric properties. Fully transparent HAp nanoceramics was prepared, and between 900 and 1050 oC elongated grains are formed, while above 1050 oC abnormal grain growth takes place.NKN samples containing grains of the sizes 0.35–0.6 µm yielded optimum ferroelectric properties, i.e. a high remanent polarization (Pr = 30 µC/cm2) and high piezoelectric constant (d33= 160 pC/N). The ferroelectric domain structure was studied, and all grains exhibited a multi-domain type of structure.