Thermal Technology is currently building a 100-ton, 36,000-amp direct-current sintering (DCS) system for a U.S.-based research organization. The DCS Model 100-36 will be integral to the study of new ultrahigh-temperature ceramic composites. DCS and spark plasma sintering (SPS) are in a class of non-conventional sintering techniques, the difference being DCS utilizes a steady electric current and SPS a pulsed current. Thermal Technology’s SPS and DCS systems are designed with highly rigid four-post press frames, an extra large working chamber and large access doors.             

DCS has multiple commercial applications. Like SPS, heat is generated internally as opposed to conventional methods of materials densification such as hot pressing, wherein the heat is external to the sample. While traditional methods of materials processing require hours to reach peak temperature, SPS and DCS take only minutes. The benefits are the saving of time and energy and the ability to retain nanostructures.