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Instrumentation and automation of a tube furnace adapted to flash sintering

Grant number: 19/03786-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 01, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Eliria Maria de Jesus Agnolon Pallone
Grantee:João Vitor Campos
Supervisor abroad: Rishi Raj
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Colorado Boulder, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/04331-5 - Instrumentation and automation of a furnace adapted to flash sintering, BP.DD


In the last decade the flash sintering technique (FS) was presented in the literature. This technique was distinguished by sintering materials in a few seconds and at much lower temperatures than conventional ones, from the application of electric field during the heating of the samples. The aim of the present work is to automate, for the first time, the control of SF parameters such as field and electric current. In addition, to correlate the variations in SF parameters with the physical, mechanical and microstructural characteristics of the stabilized tetragonal zirconia with 3 mol% of yttria (3Y-TZP). In this first moment of the work, the tubular furnace was adapted to perform SF. Displacement and temperature sensors, electropneumatic system and field/electric current application system were integrated. Softwares were developed for automatic response of the programmable logic controller, for the human machine interface and also for computer control. In order to validate the operation of the equipment, as well as to evaluate the influence of the variation of the electric parameters on the physical, mechanical and microstructural characteristics of 3Y-TZP, several SF tests are being performed varying these parameters. Until now, we already have evaluated 27 SF conditions. 3Y-TZP was sintered at a temperature of 937°C with electric field application of 90 V/cm and current density of 80 mA/mm² obtaining a material with apparent density of 96.7 % compared to theoretical density. From the preliminary results, it was concluded that the adapted furnace correctly performs the SF technique and the variation of the parameters can significantly vary the density and microstructure of the material. (AU)