A. Borrell, M. D. Salvador, M. Miranda, F. L. Penaranda-Foix and J. M. Catala-Civera Pages 32 - 35 ( 4 )
Microwave sintering has emerged in recent years as a promising technology for faster, cheaper and eco-friendlier processing of a wide variety of materials, which are regarded as significant advantages against conventional sintering procedures. The present investigation describes a technique for sintering two different ceramic materials by microwave heating: alumina-15vol.% zirconia and hydroxyapatite nanopowders. The results show that microwave sintering achieves higher density values, excellent mechanical properties and a homogeneous microstructure at lower sintering temperatures. The densities of microwave processed samples were close to the theoretical densities, and the near-net-shape of the green body was preserved without significant dimensional changes. The main advantages of microwave heating can be summarized as follows: a more flexible process, reduced processing times and production costs, and environmental benefits. Thus, microwaves are a clear alternative to conventional heating methods, using up to 70% less energy throughout the whole sintering process.
Biomaterials, ceramics, grain size, microwave sintering, microstructure, mechanical properties.
Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales (ITM), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.