Direct Current Sintering

Direct Current Sintering

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

dcs header

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 continuious DC power capabilities as standard. Larger industrial units operate with continuious 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

DCS process The DCS process allows rapid heating of materials with applied pressure within a conductive die assembly that is processed within a vacuum chamber.

 Product Features

  • Maximum Temperature: 2,500°C (limted 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
  • Thermocouple and Pyrometer based temperature control
  • On-the-fly switching between current and temperature control
  • Rapid vacuum cycling: typical <10min
  • Water flow and overtemperature system protection

DCS 10


DCS 25


DCS 50


DCS 200



Standard DCS Equipment

Model Force kN (Tons) Heating Current Typical Part Size mm (inch)
DCS 10 100kN (10.2T) 5,000A* 10-50mm (0.4-2")
DCS 25 250kN (25.4T) 10,000A* 10-100mm (0.4-4")
DCS 50 500kN (51T) 20,000A 30-150mm (1.5-6")
DCS 100 1,000kN (102T) 30,000A 50-200mm (2-8")
DCS 200 2,000kN (204T) 50,000A 50-300mm (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.)

High-Throughput Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) Article appearing in Ceramic Industry, Dec. 2009

All specifications are subject to change. Final quotation will be the governing document in all cases.
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