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SPARK PLASMA DEVICE AND PROCESS-MA00364

Market challenges

Industrialists are increasingly looking for materials combining specific properties such as ultra-hardness, lightness, or functionalization with high-quality requirements. To meet this need, academic and industrial R&D are working on innovative processes like sintering, that allows the development of new kinds of metals, ceramics, polymers and composites.
Nevertheless, current sintering processes one facing many issues in terms of grain growth control, homogenization, and pressure/temperature available of conditions, impacting materials performance and lifetime.
Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) offers high potential solutions to address those issues but still represents significant cost and spatial footprint with an important lack of understanding of the phenomenon involved during synthesis

Innovative solution

The invention relates to a new Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) device and process.
This new device presents a brand new architecture and components that significantly improves SPS in terms of materials quality and process monitoring. Another key parameter is that the device can sinter under very higher pressure, up to 5 GPa while current SPS machine hardly go-beyond the MPa.
Moreover and while today’s SPS machine have a significant spatial footprint (around a few m2), this device is rather small (24 cm x 24 cm x 84 cm), adding the possibility of transport and plugging to high-energy beamlines in order to do material characterization or in situ monitoring.

Suggested applications

• Production of small or medium-sized sintered materials (ceramics, composites, metals)
• Synthesis and characterization of new functionalized materials (piezoelectric, superconductor...)
• Production of hard material which requires a sintered materials at the first stage of production

Competitive advantages

• In situ monitoring (X-Ray tomography...) allowing to control of grain growth and nano-structuration
• Pressures up to 5 GPa
• Size (24cm x 24 cm x 84 cm)
• Overall increased SPS performances
• Priority Patent application in December 2016

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