Solid-State and Viscous Sintering
A typical sintering process involves solid-liquid and liquid-solid phase transformations in highly heterogeneous systems such as powders of ceramics and metals which are sintered to bind the particles during heat/pressure treatments. The aim of this project is to understand the mechanisms of sintering at the mesoscopic scale, where phase-field and Lattice-Boltzmann methods are two suitable approaches to simulate the microstructural evolution of the materials.
In the first stage, the viscous sintering process is studied by using the Lattice-Boltzmann method: the densification of the sinter body is described by using the relative density as the solution parameter. Additionally, the effective viscosity evolution can be determined during the sintering simulation.
Combining the phase-field method for controlling the interfacial properties with the Lattice-Boltzmann method for solving liquid flow problems is a more advanced technique, since it enables us to study more complicated cases during sintering while having full control of the interfacial properties. Hence, this new approach provides a convenient way to control the different mechanisms involved in a sintering process and thus to identify the influence of the individual contributions to the final material properties.