Master sintering curves of nickel-titanium and nickel-titanium open-cell foams fabricated by spark plasma sintering

  • Peter T. Nivala
  • Susan P. JamesEmail author
Metals & corrosion


Master sintering curves (MSCs) were developed for monolithic nickel-titanium (NiTi) and composite NiTi-copper specimens densified by spark plasma sintering (SPS) to efficiently establish the density–process parameter relationship. NiTi-copper specimens simulated the porogen (a.k.a. space holder) replication technique used to fabricate NiTi open-cell foams. The effect of copper porogens on the densification behavior of NiTi powder was examined through the comparison of the generated MSCs. Several additional monolithic NiTi specimens and a NiTi open-cell foam specimen were sintered isothermally to verify the accuracy of the generated MSCs. The experimental data indicated the copper porogens had little-to-no effect on the densification behavior of NiTi powder. Using an apparent activation energy of 201 kJ mol-1, both MSCs were able to predict the final density of the validation specimens within 1.2%. The current study demonstrated the successful application of the MSC concept to the SPS of monolithic NiTi and composite NiTi-copper specimens enabling accurate predictions of final specimen density based on any arbitrary time–temperature sintering profile. This efficient mapping of the density–process parameter space has eliminated the trial-and-error methodology typically used and has resulted in significant savings of time, energy, and raw materials.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors confirm that there is no known conflict of interest associated with this publication and there has been no significant financial support for this work that could have influenced its outcome.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.School of Advanced Materials DiscoveryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.School of Biomedical EngineeringColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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