Thermal Technology of Santa Rosa, Calif., is now producing spark plasma sintering (SPS) technology. SPS is an ultra-high-tech, high-speed, low-temperature compaction/sintering process. It is similar to hot press technology, but instead of using radiant heat, it passes high-amperage pulsed DC current directly through the sample material, producing unique particle-bonding properties.

Benefits of SPS include: single press, full density capability; controllable porosity; exceptional grain growth and microstructure control; wet and dry phase sintering and bonding; high homogeneity; net and near-net powder to part processing; and functionally graded materials.