Direct Current Sintering Furnace

Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) / Field Assisted Sintering Technique (FAST)

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The Direct Current Sintering (DCS) furnace is Thermal Technology’s product offering for the process known as Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) or the Field Assisted Sintering Technique (FAST). The process uses high electrical current to rapidly heat a conductive tooling assembly under simultaneous uniaxial pressure. With no heating elements extremely rapid heating and cooling of the sample is possible, enabling high density materials to be sintered with ultra-fine or even nano-sized grain structures. For examples of materials and applications please see our R&D Laboratory.

All DCS furnaces feature state of the art compact power supplies to deliver the high currents required for rapid heating. Laboratory units (DCS 10 and 25) are equipped with pulsed and continuous DC power capabilities as standard. Larger industrial units operate with continuous DC as standard and pulsed DC available as an option. All systems feature an easy to use touchscreen interface and state of the art hydraulic controls for fully automatic operation.

The Process

Standard Product Features

  • Maximum temperature: 2,500°C (limited by part size).
  • Vacuum (10^-3 Torr range) and Inert gas (Ar, He, N2) operation.
  • 10 Volts for heating power (Higher voltages available).
  • Fully automatic operation by PLC and touchscreen HMI.
  • Programmable heating rates to 1,000°C or higher.
  • Thermocouple and Pyrometer based temperature control.
  • On the fly switching between current and temperature control.
  • Rapid vacuum cycling: typical <10min
  • Water flow and pressing ram overtemperature system protection

Product Examples

Standard DCS Equipment

ModelForce kN (Tons)Heating CurrentTypical Part Size mm (inch)
DCS 10100kN (10.2T)5,000A*10-50mm (0.4-2″)
DCS 25250kN (25.4T)10,000A*10-100mm (0.4-4″)
DCS 50500kN (51T)20,000A30-150mm (1.5-6″)
DCS 1001,000kN (102T)30,000A50-200mm (2-8″)
DCS 2002,000kN (204T)50,000A50-300mm (2-12″)

*Pulse DC capable power supply standard.

Common Optional Upgrades

  • Increased throughput vacuum pump
  • High vacuum pumps (Diffusion, Turbo, Cryo)
  • Glovebox integration for reactive or hazardous materials
  • Gas quenching systems for rapid cooling
  • Combustible gas safety system (Hydrogen, Methane, ect.)

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