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Sintering of Ceramics by HF-Radiation


Sintering and Joining of Ceramic and Composite Materials by Using Millimeter-wave Radiation.

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-CER/Ceramics/Materials

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Novozhilov V V

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Applied Physics, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod

Supporting institutes

  • VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov


  • Rockwell International, Rocketdyne Division, USA, CA, Canoga Park\nForschungszentrum Karlsruhe Technik und Umwelt / Institute für Materialforschung, Germany, Karlsruhe\nUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison / Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, USA, WI, Madison\nEA Technology, UK, Capenhurst

Project summary

Introduction and Project's Purpose:

At present the industrial use of microwave (mw) energy for heating of materials is restricted to low-temperature processes (drying, defrosting, cure of polymers and rubber, etc.). Introduction of high-temperature microwave processes, such as sintering of ceramics and composite materials, joining of dielectrics, dielectrics and metals in industrial scale applications becomes economically viable only with the use of high frequency microwave radiation in the millimeter wave range of the spectrum. The purpose of this project is to develop novel, energy saving procedures in the field of microwave material processing, based on the use of state of the art high-power millimeter-wave generators (gyrotrons) for creating (sintering) advanced ceramic and composite materials with enhanced functional and operational properties. Another purpose of this project is to develop improved processes for the joining of such materials. This project will be completed by two groups of Russian scientists and engineers - those from the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (RFNC) at Arzamas 16 and those from the Institute of Applied Physics (IAP) in Nizhnii Novgorod. At a total level of effort of almost 30 man-years, more than half of this labor will be provided by technical personnel with expertise in the fields of material sciences and solid state physics, previously employed in the development of weapons of mass destruction. The implementation of the project will serve for re-orienting their creative talents to the development of long-term career opportunities in the civilian sector and integration of weapons scientists and engineers into the international scientific community.

Scientific and Commercial Significance:

Physical foundation for the technology of high temperature microwave processing has been established as a result of studies of interactions between intense microwave electromagnetic fields and solid matter and studies of mass-transport in solids under the action of strong electromagnetic fields. The results of planned investigations will have their own scientific significance for a better understanding of material behavior under conditions of simultaneous action of high temperature and intense electro-magnetic radiation. A major commercial significance of this project will be the introduction of a novel approach to the creation of advanced materials and considerable expansion of the sphere of applications of ceramic and composite materials in industry and technology. In addition to the traditional advantages inherent to mw-processing such as reduction of energy consumption, enhancement of productivity, decrease in the number of workpiece rejects and in the reduction of manual operations, the technology - proposed to be developed in this project - has large potential for producing new materials with significantly enhanced properties. It is anticipated that industrial-scale introduction of these developed processes will contribute to the economic growth of the countries engaged in this project.

Examples of commercial applications of mw bonding:

The following is a list of future commercial applications, several of which have already been successfully demonstrated in the former S. U. Bonding of diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN) to tungsten-carbide and to other tools ( $10B market). High strength bonding of high power components in the electronics industry (significant part of a $50B market). Curing of thick film conductors, resistors, dielectrics on ceramic, glass and polymer substrates, where curing is in air with the substrate at near room temperature. Bonding of plastics as insulators or protective layers to metal surfaces, oil & gas pipes, etc. Plastic coating of hot water pipes for thermal insulation (potential markets are very large!). Printed circuit- board manufacturing (several $100M market). Sintering and compacting of ceramic materials, glazing of ceramic coatings of >97% density and 20 mm thickness, with excellent thermal cycling.

Technical Approach:

The various high-temperature microwave processes will be developed by using the existing IAP facilities of high power millimeterwave furnaces unrivaled anywhere in the world. These are the turn key installations of specialized gyrotrons with several tens of Kwatts of available CW power and up to 1 MW peak power in pulsed mode of operation at frequencies up to 140 GHz. Systematic investigation of characteristics of various polycrystalline materials at high temperatures with simultaneous presence of intensive electromagnetic fields over a broad range of their parameters will allow characterization of properties of these materials. Investigations of the properties of these new materials and also, studies of properties of the various novel microwave assisted bondings (brazings) will be made both at RFNC and at IAP by using a wide range of modern analytical tools and methods. Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International Corporation will provide technical and applications guidance to the Russian teams.


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