Pulsed electric current sintering of electrically conductive ceramics
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The processing of yttria-stabilised zirconia (Y-ZrO2)-based ceramic nanocomposites by means of pulsed electric current sintering (PECS) is described. A nanometer-sized electrically conductive secondary TiCN phase was added to the insulating zirconia matrix in order to make the composite electrically conductive. The paper focuses on the importance of processing conditions and highlights the benefits of the PECS method as compared to more traditional hot pressing. The mechanical and microstructural properties of the ZrO2–TiCN composites have been determined, and the benefits of using an electrical current to densify these composites were explained in terms of the evolution of the electrical properties of the densifying powder compact.
KeywordsFracture Toughness Electrical Discharge Machine Densification Behaviour Sinter Powder Compact Bead Milling
This work was performed within the framework of the Research Fund of K.U.Leuven under project GOA/08/007 and FWO project grant number 3E060133. K. Vanmeensel thanks the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO), S. Salehi thanks the Research Council of K.U.Leuven for a doctoral scholarship (DB/07/012) and A Laptev acknowledges the Research Council of K.U.Leuven for his research fellowship. The authors also acknowledge the support of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through the NACER project (contract P2/00/07).