Flash Sintering

24 May 2013
Richard Todd
“Flash sintering” is a process reported by R Raj and co-workers in which very rapid densification of a ceramic powder compact is achieved by the passage of an electrical current through the specimen. Full density can be achieved in a few seconds (sintering normally takes several hours) and at furnace temperatures several hundred Kelvin below the temperatures required with conventional sintering. The name of the process comes from a runaway power spike that is observed at the point of sintering. Although it is acknowledged by Raj that Joule heating plays a role in the process, he and his co-authors claim that this is of minor importance and that entirely new physical effects must also be involved. However, the existence and possible relevance of these other effects of the electric field/current remains controversial. The aim of this workshop is to introduce the subject and to stimulate discussion of how mathematics could shed light on some the factors that are difficult to measure and understand experimentally.
  • Industrial and Interdisciplinary Workshops