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What is sintering and where is this process applied?

Sintering is a process used to deform material. Material grains are bonded together by means of sintering. This happens in an oven. A characteristic of the process is that the material grains are not heated to such an extent that they become liquid. Instead, the granules are heated to a temperature just before the melting point. At that temperature, the number of contact points between the grains increases. When the material subsequently cools, it is very hard. We use this process to produce a ferrite tile which has a perfect electromagnetic absorption at low frequencies. But apart from that it is also suited for hybrid solutions such as our hybrid EMC absorbers.

Very hard materials

Sintering can create very hard substances. Sintered materials such as tungsten carbide is an example of a hard substance that is created by sintering.

Different variants of sintering

There are several variants of sintering. For example, in solid-state sintering, no liquid is used. Instead, the material powder is converted into a desired shape by means of a baking process.

Liquid-phase sintering is a less straightforward process. As the name ‘liquid-phase sintering’ suggests, part of the material is brought into a liquid phase at the firing temperature. Due to the capillarity or capillary action, the liquid material will ensure that all spaces and pores between the non-liquid material parts are filled. This also creates a whole.

What is sintering used for?

Sintering as a process is used in various ways. The application of this process is wide. Below are some examples where sintering is used:

  • Sintering is used for the production of iron ore sinter for blast furnaces.
  • Sintering is used for clinker which is a part of cement.
  • Sintering is used to apply an anti-oxidation layer to metals. This is also known as vertebral sintering.
  • Sintering is used to bake pottery.
  • For Teflon products, one can opt for the sintering process.
  • The sintering process is used to make very hard materials such as tungsten carbide.
  • The production of “rapid” prototypes can be done by means of, among other things, sintering.
  • It can also be used in the production of filters for compressed and breathing air circuits.