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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2763

Title: Numerical simulation of electric field assisted sintering
Authors: McWilliams, Brandon A.
Keywords: Materials science;Sintering;Powder metallurgy
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2008
Abstract: A fully coupled thermal-electric-sintering finite element model was developed and implemented to explore electric field assisted sintering techniques (FAST). FAST is a single step processing operation for producing bulk materials from powders, in which the powder is heated by the application of electric current under pressure. This process differs from other powder processing techniques such as hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and traditional press and sinter operations where the powder or compact is heated externally, in that the powder is heated directly as a result of internal Joule heating (for conductive powders) and/or by direct conduction from the die and punches. The overall result is much more efficient heating which allows heating rates of >1000oC/min to be achieved which is desirable for sintering bulk nanocrystalline and other novel high performance materials. Previous modeling efforts on FAST have only considered the thermal-electric aspect of the problem and have neglected densification. In addition to the introduction of a sintering model, a detailed thermal-electric study of process parameters was carried out in order to identify key system variables and quantify their effect on the overall system response and subsequent thermal history of a consolidated sample. This analysis was compared to empirical data from a parallel experimental study and shown to satisfactorily predict the observed trends. This model was then integrated with a phenomenologically based sintering model to capture the densification of the sample. This fully coupled model was used to predict densification kinetics under FAST like conditions and examine the evolution of material properties as the sample transitions from a loose powder to a fully dense compact and the resulting effect on the electrical and thermal fields within the compact. This model was also used to explore the effect of non-uniform thermal, electrical, stress, and density fields on the final geometry and local microstructure of cylindrical and non-cylindrical compacts. It was found that the fully coupled model offers a significant improvement in model predictions over thermal-electric only models. The model developed through this work provides a valuable design and optimization tool for FAST type processing.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2763
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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