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Materials Research

Print version ISSN 1516-1439On-line version ISSN 1980-5373


LOURENCO, Jorge Magner; MALISKA, Ana Maria; KLEIN, Aloísio Nelmo  and  MUZART, Joel Louis Rene. Plasma sintering of unalloyed iron: a study of surface porosity. Mat. Res. [online]. 2004, vol.7, n.2, pp.269-275. ISSN 1516-1439.

Samples of unalloyed iron powder were compacted and sintered in an abnormal glow discharge, generated in a gas mixture of 80% Ar + 20% H2 by using a pulsed power source. The samples were placed on a holder, acting as the discharge cathode, and were heated by the bombardment of ions, strongly accelerated in the cathode sheath. Sintering was performed at temperatures of 1173, 1273 and 1373 K for 30 min, varying the voltage applied to the cathode from 400 to 700 V and pressure ranging from 470 to 2650 Pa. It is shown that the kinetic energy of ions striking the sample surface increased approximately three times, when the voltage changed from 400 to 700 V, with a corresponding reduction of surface porosity. The surface sealing is related to the ion bombardment, which produced a high mobility of surface atoms and consequent enhanced diffusion as well as sputtering and condensation on the concave surface, resulting in an activation of surface sintering.

Keywords : Powder metallurgy; Plasma sintering; Surface porosity.

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