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Materials 2013, 6(7), 2612-2632; doi:10.3390/ma6072612
Article

Localized Overheating Phenomena and Optimization of Spark-Plasma Sintering Tooling Design

1
, 1,2,* , 1
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1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182, USA 2 Key Laboratory for Electromagnetic Field Assisted Materials Processing, Engineering Physics University, Moscow 115409, Russia 3 US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 April 2013 / Revised: 9 June 2013 / Accepted: 17 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Net-shaped PM (Powder Metallurgical) Parts)
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Abstract

The present paper shows the application of a three-dimensional coupled electrical, thermal, mechanical finite element macro-scale modeling framework of Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) to an actual problem of SPS tooling overheating, encountered during SPS experimentation. The overheating phenomenon is analyzed by varying the geometry of the tooling that exhibits the problem, namely by modeling various tooling configurations involving sequences of disk-shape spacers with step-wise increasing radii. The analysis is conducted by means of finite element simulations, intended to obtain temperature spatial distributions in the graphite press-forms, including punches, dies, and spacers; to identify the temperature peaks and their respective timing, and to propose a more suitable SPS tooling configuration with the avoidance of the overheating as a final aim. Electric currents-based Joule heating, heat transfer, mechanical conditions, and densification are imbedded in the model, utilizing the finite-element software COMSOL™, which possesses a distinguishing ability of coupling multiple physics. Thereby the implementation of a finite element method applicable to a broad range of SPS procedures is carried out, together with the more specific optimization of the SPS tooling design when dealing with excessive heating phenomena.
Keywords: Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS); Field Assisted Sintering (FAST); finite element; modeling; temperature distribution; overheating Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS); Field Assisted Sintering (FAST); finite element; modeling; temperature distribution; overheating
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Giuntini, D.; Olevsky, E.A.; Garcia-Cardona, C.; Maximenko, A.L.; Yurlova, M.S.; Haines, C.D.; Martin, D.G.; Kapoor, D. Localized Overheating Phenomena and Optimization of Spark-Plasma Sintering Tooling Design. Materials 2013, 6, 2612-2632.

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