Sintering of Ceramics


This chapter discusses the basic principles of sintering and how they are applied practically to the production of ceramics with controlled microstructures. The objective of sintering studies is, therefore, commonly to understand how the processing variables such as temperature, particle size, applied pressure, particle packing, composition, and sintering atmosphere influence the microstructure that is produced. The four categories of sintering described are solid-state sintering, liquid-phase sintering, vitrification, and viscous sintering. Sintering of crystalline materials can occur by several mechanisms: vapor transport (evaporation/condensation), surface diffusion, lattice (volume) diffusion, grain boundary diffusion, and dislocation motion. Mathematical models have been developed to analyze the rate of matter transport along these paths. The models can be classified into three types: (a) analytical models (b) scaling laws, and (c) numerical models. The sintering behavior of real powders is considerably more complex than that assumed in the models; the sintering theory clearly indicates the key parameters that must be controlled to optimize sintering. The key factors are the particle size of the powder and the particle packing in the green body, but other characteristics, such as size distribution, shape, and structure of the particles, can also exert a significant influence.


Materials Science and Engineering

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

978-0080532943; 978-0126546408

Document Type

Book - Chapter

Document Version


File Type





© 2003 Elsevier Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2003