Studying the Progress of Sintering in Ferrous Powder Compacts by In-Situ Measuring the Thermal Conductivity

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Abstract

In situ characterization of the sintering process is a difficult task, in particular for systems without pronounced dimensional changes. Dilatometry is not too helpful in those cases, and therefore other properties have to be recorded. In the present study, sintering of ferrous powder compacts was studied in situ by measuring the thermal diffusivity a using a laser flash apparatus. This property is a measure to characterise the heat flow through a material; it depends on the contact area between the particles and thus reveals their change during sintering. It is shown that the change of a during sintering of ferrous compacts is much less pronounced than in the case of cemented carbides which is not surprising when regarding the widely differing porosity changes. The results are however in good agreement with expectations when considering some experimental limitations. The trend for the thermal conductivity λ. which can be calculated from a, the specific heat and the density, is in good agreement with that found for the electrical conductivity, both properties being linked through Wiedemann-Franz’ law.

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