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Sintering kinetics of the powder during fields-activated micro-forming and sintering (Micro-FAST) of copper micro-gears

Huang, Kunlan and Yang, Yi and Qin, Yi (2014) Sintering kinetics of the powder during fields-activated micro-forming and sintering (Micro-FAST) of copper micro-gears. In: Metal Forming 2014. Key Engineering Materials, 622-623 . Trans Tech Publications Ltd, Pfaffikon, Switzerland, pp. 854-860. ISBN 9783038351931

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Forming of micro-components from powder with fields-activated sintering technology (FAST) renders different forming and sintering mechanisms, comparing to that occurring during the forming of macro-sized components with a similar technology. Establishing a good understanding of these mechanisms would help process design and control aiming at achieving desired quality of the components to be formed. This paper presents a study and the results on the sintering kinetics of the powder during Micro-FAST for the fabrication of micro-gears (the module is 0.2 and the pitch diameter 1.6 mm) from copper powder. The results showed that the densification of copper powder is related largely to the bulk plastic-deformations of the particles and the melting of the particles at contact interfaces. Particularly, it is revealed that plastic deformations of the copper particles mainly occurred at approximately 340 °C and melting of the particle-interfaces at approximately 640 °C. Differently, in a densification process with a traditional powder sintering method, grain growth and neck growth would, normally, be two dominant mechanisms that achieve the densification of powder.