Sintering

Sintering is part of the firing process used in the manufacture of pottery and other ceramic objects. These objects are made from substances such as glass, alumina, zirconia, silica, magnesia, lime, beryllium oxide, and ferric oxide. Some ceramic raw materials have a lower affinity for water and a lower plasticity index than clay, requiring organic additives in the stages before sintering. The general procedure of creating ceramic objects via sintering of powders includes;

  • Mixing water, binder, deflocculated, and unfired ceramic powder to form slurry
  • Spray-drying the slurry
  • Putting the spray dried powder into a mould and pressing it to form a green body
  • Heating the green body at low temperature to burn off the binder

All the characteristic temperatures associated with phase transformation, glass transitions, and melting points, occurring during a sinterisation cycle of a particular ceramics formulation (i.e., tails and frits) can be easily obtained by observing the expansion-temperature curves during optical dilatometer thermal analysis. In fact, sinterisation is associated with a remarkable shrinkage of the material because glass phases flow once their transition temperature is reached, and start consolidating the powdery structure and considerably reducing the porosity of the material.

 

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