A numerical simulation is presented on the sintering of porous alumina structures prepared by a controlled sedimentation technique. By forming this functionally gradient material with a very broad powder size distribution, the samples were able to remain flat through sintering. This experimental result is reflected in the present simulation results, which incorporated particle size distribution effects. In general, sintering functionally gradient ceramics can often introduce defects. Despite these common problems, the asymmetric structures considered in this paper featured a vertical functionality of continuously overlapping broad powder size distributions in the structure. This arrangement served to homogenize sintering rates. Modelling presented in connection with this shows that such structures can be readily sintered without warpage or cracking. To demonstrate these effects, a finite element method numerical simulation was developed to model the sintering characteristics of porous asymmetric ceramic structures by incorporating the powder particle size distribution into the model as a field variable. This work presents novel advances in the sintering model such that the contributions to the desired product properties attributable to particle size distribution effects can be demonstrated. These additions to the model produce numerical results which properly match observed structural profiles of physical samples.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering