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DEVELOPMENT OF A TWIN D.C. PLASMA ARC FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ULTRA-FINE CERAMIC POWDERS, THEIR EVALUATION AND PROCESSING

Objective

The consortium will develop and optimize the technology to exploit the special D.C. characteristics of the twin and multiple plasma systems for vaporising ceramic materials and their precursors.
Powders produced included Al2O3, ZrO2, Y2O3, SiC, AIN and Si3N4 with particle sizes < 200 nm and some < 5 nm. Particles of composition ZrO2/Y2O3 were shown to be phase stabilised following plasma treatment.

The characteristics of the plasma arcs were defined and a model for the vapourisation and condensation of powders developed, which agreed with experimental findings.

Reactor designs were evaluated and a compact reactor developed enabling continuous collection of nanometre sized powders in a controlled atmosphere.
This permits the laboratory scale production of nanometre dimension ceramic particles and of thin films of material either on larger particles within the plasma jet, or on extended external surfaces.

This project will provide a range of materials for evaluation. Ultra-fine and coated powders will be characterized, and their sintering behaviour evaluated. Nanometre coatings will be evaluated for microstructure and mechanical properties.

This programme is a direct development project first introduced at BRITE 1 (1987) and using the same team.

Coordinator

Tetronics Research and Development Company Ltd
Address
5B Lechlade Road
SN7 9AJ Faringdon
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

GH Industrial SA
Spain
Address
Vereda Real
46184 Valencia
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
United Kingdom
Address

LS2 9JT Leeds
Université de Limoges
France
Address
123 Avenue Albert Thomas
87060 Limoges