Spark plasma sintering (SPS) has gained recognition in the last 20 years for its rapid densification of hard-to-sinter conventional and advanced materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Herein, we describe the unconventional usages of the SPS technique developed in the field. The potential of various new modifications in the SPS technique, from pressureless to the integration of a novel gas quenching system to extrusion, has led to SPS’ evolution into a completely new manufacturing tool. The SPS technique’s modifications have broadened its usability from merely a densification tool to the fabrication of complex-shaped components, advanced functional materials, functionally gradient materials, interconnected materials, and porous filter materials for real-life applications. The broader application achieved by modification of the SPS technique can provide an alternative to conventional powder metallurgy methods as a scalable manufacturing process. The future challenges and opportunities in this emerging research field have also been identified and presented.
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