Research Breakthrough: Cold sintering of ceramics instead of high-temperature firing
Most sintering processes occur at high temperatures >1000°C. This technology is a protocol to achieve dense ceramic solids at extremely low temperatures (< 300°C) via integrating particle, particle-fluid interface control, and external pressure to allow the cold sintering process (CSP). CSP uses a transient aqueous environment to effect densification by a mediated dissolution-precipitation process. These temperatures enable co-sintering of ceramic materials with other materials such as thermoplastics to develop unique composites and new functionalities in a single step process. The researchers have reduced the technology to practice using over 50 compositions, including advanced ceramics such as BaTiO3 and ZrO2, which are used extensively in electronic devices, among many other applications.