Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 47, Issue 20, pp 7036–7046 | Cite as

Densification mechanisms of spark plasma sintering: multi-step pressure dilatometry

  • Wei Li
  • Eugene A. Olevsky
  • Joanna McKittrick
  • Andrey L. Maximenko
  • Randall M. German
Sintering 2011


The effects of electrical current and mechanical pressure on the densification of spherical copper powder during spark plasma sintering (SPS) are examined. A novel multi-step pressure dilatometry method is introduced to compare the constitutive behavior of the copper powder under nearly equivalent current-insulated and current-assisted SPS process conditions. The strain rate sensitivity agrees with that predicted for a dislocation climb-controlled creep densification mechanism for both processing setups. Accelerated densification rate leading to a higher final relative density is observed for the current-assisted SPS.


Spark Plasma Sinter Strain Rate Sensitivity Copper Powder Creep Mechanism Densification Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The support of the US Army ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal (Contract Award #W15QKN-09C-0128) is gratefully appreciated. The support of the National Science Foundation, Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovations (Grant CMMI- 0758232) is gratefully appreciated. The authors are grateful to Dr. Steve Barlow who assisted in SEM work, at the San Diego State University Electron Microscopy Facility acquired by NSF instrumentation grant DBI-0959908. The support of the Department of Science and Education of Russian Federation (Grant Contract 11.G34.31.0051) is also gratefully appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eugene A. Olevsky
    • 1
    • 4
  • Joanna McKittrick
    • 3
  • Andrey L. Maximenko
    • 4
  • Randall M. German
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of EngineeringSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.College of EngineeringSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLa Jolla, San DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Key Laboratory for Electromagnetic Field Assisted Processing of Novel MaterialsMoscow Engineering Physics InstituteMoscowRussia

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