Extension of the master sintering curve for constant heating rate modeling

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McCoy, Tammy Michelle
Cochran, Joe K.
Sanders, Thomas H., Jr.
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The purpose of this work is to extend the functionality of the Master Sintering Curve (MSC) such that it can be used as a practical tool for predicting sintering schemes that combine both a constant heating rate and an isothermal hold. Rather than just being able to predict a final density for the object of interest, the extension to the MSC will actually be able to model a sintering run from start to finish. Because the Johnson model does not incorporate this capability, the work presented is an extension of what has already been shown in literature to be a valuable resource in many sintering situations. A predicted sintering curve that incorporates a combination of constant heating rate and an isothermal hold is more indicative of what is found in real-life sintering operations. This research offers the possibility of predicting the sintering schedule for a material, thereby having advanced information about the extent of sintering, the time schedule for sintering, and the sintering temperature with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability. The research conducted in this thesis focuses on the development of a working model for predicting the sintering schedules of several stabilized zirconia powders having the compositions YSZ (HSY8), 10Sc1CeSZ, 10Sc1YSZ, and 11ScSZ1A. The compositions of the four powders are first verified using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and the particle size and surface area are verified using a particle size analyzer and BET analysis, respectively. The sintering studies were conducted on powder compacts using a double pushrod dilatometer. Density measurements are obtained both geometrically and using the Archimedes method. Each of the four powders is pressed into 1/4 inch diameter pellets using a manual press with no additives, such as a binder or lubricant. Using a double push-rod dilatometer, shrinkage data for the pellets is obtained over several different heating rates. The shrinkage data is then converted to reflect the change in relative density of the pellets based on the green density and the theoretical density of each of the compositions. The Master Sintering Curve (MSC) model is then utilized to generate data that can be utilized to predict the final density of the respective powder over a range of heating rates. The Elton Master Sintering Curve Extension (EMSCE) is developed to extend the functionality of the MSC tool. The parameters generated from the original MSC are used in tandem with the solution to a specific closed integral (discussed in document) over a set range of temperatures. The EMSCE is used to generate a set of sintering curves having both constant heating rate and isothermal hold portions. The EMSCE extends the usefulness of the MSC by allowing this generation of a complete sintering schedule rather than just being able to predict the final relative density of a given material. The EMSCE is verified by generating a set of curves having both constant heating rate and an isothermal hold for the heat-treatment. The modeled curves are verified experimentally and a comparison of the model and experimental results are given for a selected composition. Porosity within the final product can hinder the product from sintering to full density. It is shown that some of the compositions studied did not sinter to full density because of the presence of large porosity that could not be eliminated in a reasonable amount of time. A statistical analysis of the volume fraction of porosity is completed to show the significance of the presence in the final product. The reason this is relevant to the MSC is that the model does not take into account the presence of porosity and assumes that the samples sinter to full density. When this does not happen, the model actually under-predicts the final density of the material.
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