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Sintering

This term describes a method for producing materials in which fine-grained, ceramic or also metallic substances are heated to temperatures below their own melting temperature, usually under increased pressure.

This process is used mainly in the ceramics industry, but also in metallurgy; granular or pulverulent substances are mixed and joined to each other by heat treatment. After the powder masses have been brought into the shape of the desired workpiece, either by pressing of the powder masses or by moulding and drying, as in the production of earthenware, the green product is compressed and hardened by heat treatment below the melting temperature.

Sintering makes it possible for starting materials which otherwise would not be able to join to form another substance, or only with difficulty, to fuse. It works in three steps: First the green product is compressed, then substantial minimisation of the porosity occurs during the second step, and finally the desired strength of the materials is achieved.

Sintered products are widely used, for example, in the automotive industry in the form of bearing shells, engine parts, brake linings etc. Sintering is however also used in dental technology as a method for producing ceramic teeth and veneers.

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