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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 2225-6253


MATIZAMHUKA, W.R.. Spark plasma sintering (SPS) - an advanced sintering technique for structural nanocomposite materials. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2016, vol.116, n.12, pp.1171-1180. ISSN 2411-9717.

The consolidation of nano-sized composite materials presents a challenge using conventional hot pressing methods. Spark plasma sintering (SPS) technology has shown great promise in the successful sintering of nano-reinforced composite materials. This qualitative review seeks to impart knowledge gathered, and progress made over the years on the consolidation of nanocomposite materials using SPS technology. The review is aimed at introducing this technology to the South African science and engineering community. Emphasis is on improving the mechanical properties of structural ceramic nanocomposite materials, which over the years have shown great promise in a wide range of applications, including transport, energy, mining, and the environment. Although success has been achieved within the laboratory for research purposes, there are still great opportunities to commercialize the technology for the production of larger components with more complex shapes.

Keywords : ceramic nanocomposites; structural materials; spark plasma sintering; fracture toughness; ceramic matrix composites.

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