Crystalline solids. Miller indices. Bravais lattices. Metal structures (bcc, fcc, hcp). Ionic solids. Point defects. Ionic conductors. Extended defects.
Mechanical properties of materials. Fracture behavior. Toughness. Griffith theory. Fatigue. Creep. Solid solution hardening. Precipitation hardening. Work hardening. Mechanical properties of ceramic materials. Weibull statistics.
Sintering processes: basic principles. Laplace equation. Sintering stages. Evolution of the microstructure. Techniques for measuring the degree of sintering progress. Sintering additives: operating principles. Sintering with liquid phase. German diagram. Pressure assisted sintering; hot isostatic pressing. Case studies: cermets sintering (WC-Co); processing and properties of ceramic materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC).
The behavior of materials does not depend solely on their atomic and molecular structure, but is strongly influenced by the microstructure, i.e. the presence of point and/or extended defects in the crystalline structure. Production processes do affect materials' microstructure, thus determining their properties and, consequently, their behavior under real operating conditions. The processing-microstructure-property relationship is analyzed here describing powder metallurgy principles and applications.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The student has to acquire an in-depth knowledge of sintering processes, ranging from the thermodynamic driving force up to the densification kinetics. The student must be able to explain the principles underlying the processes that take place in solid-state sintering and liquid-phase sintering as well. Finally, the student should acquire information on the techniques most commonly used to follow the densification process of powders subjected to sintering.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The student should be able to interact positively with professionals, including those having different backgrounds (e.g. chemists, engineers, metallurgists), who work in the field of design, manufacturing and characterization of sintered materials.
The student will be able to evaluate and rationalize data concerning both the production and and functional characterization of sintered materials.
The student will be able to communicate properly with technicians, professionals and researchers active in the study and/or production of sintered materials.
The student will have sufficient skills for improvinig his/her background on powder metallurgy and sintering processes, with particular emphasis on consultation of bibliographic material, scientific literature and databases available in the web and concerning materials science and powder metallurgy.