This section provides an overview for sintering aids as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 3 sintering aid manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked sintering aid companies as of February, 2024: 1.Industrial Supply, Inc., 2.Denka Company Limited.
A sintering aid is an additive used to enhance and stabilize the sintering process of metal and ceramic powders. These aids usually have a lower melting point than the primary material being sintered.
Sintering aids are carefully added to the powders in amounts that don’t compromise the material's properties. They are particularly useful for sintering materials that are otherwise difficult to sinter or to improve density and strength post-sintering. Commonly used sintering aids include boron, carbon, alkaline earth metals, and rare earth oxides, which are particularly effective for ceramic sintering, enhancing densification and thermal conductivity.
Sintering aids are extensively used in the production of ceramics. Metals with high melting points and ceramics that are unfeasible to produce by conventional methods like cutting or melting are manufactured through sintering. For materials like silicon carbide and silicon nitride, which are challenging to sinter, sintering aids help facilitate densification. They melt at lower temperatures during the heating process, aiding the compacting of the powder.
In the case of fine ceramics, which are even more challenging to sinter, smaller particle sizes and additives like boron and carbon are used. Silicon beryllium nitride is sometimes employed as a sintering aid in silicon nitride ceramics production. Additionally, some ceramic household items are made by mixing ceramic clay with sintering aids and sintering them in a microwave oven.
In the sintering process, raw materials are first pulverized and mixed, with sintering aids added at this stage if needed. The powder is then placed in a mold and pressurized to form the desired shape. Wax or similar materials may be added for easier molding. To ensure even density, particularly with fine powders, a molding aid might be used to create granular material for molding.
Before high-temperature sintering, any organic matter added during molding is slowly heated and removed. For oxide ceramics like alumina and zirconia, most sintering occurs in air, while metals and non-oxide ceramics like silicon nitride are sintered in inert gas or vacuum environments to prevent oxidation.
Sintering involves heating the powder compact, causing raw material particles to bond, reducing voids, and solidifying the structure. Diffusion is a key mechanism in this process, especially for solid metals and ceramics. Materials like SiC and Si3N4 require sintering aids for efficient densification, as high grain boundary energy can hinder sintering. Sintering aids reduce this intergranular energy, enhancing the process. Additionally, low-temperature sintering is crucial for high-temperature structural ceramics to prevent strength loss due to particle growth at high temperatures.
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Denka Company Limited, founded in 1915, is a Japanese chemical manufacturer headquartered in Chuo City, Tokyo. The company offers a range of products made with the technology of fine ceramics and organic fine chemicals, such as adhesives, fluorescent materials, functional films, and heat dissipation materials. They also produce automotive parts, belts, hoses, electric wires and cables, and rubber gloves using chloroprene rubber. Additionally, Denka provides products made of polymer solutions, such as food packaging materials, building materials, and electric home appliances. In 2022, Denka launched the New Business Development to develop products and technologies in ICT and energy, healthcare, and sustainable living.
GNPGraystar Specialty Materials was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in South Carolina, US, as a raw material supplier for the ceramic and abrasive markets. The company provides a comprehensive range of primary materials in various dimensions, meticulously classified according to precise standards, along with the option for customized sizing to meet individual customer requirements. The company recognizes the importance of ensuring the dependability of material supply for its customers. By maintaining huge stocks and strategically locating warehouses, the company endeavors to deliver the highest level of service within the business.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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