Production Scale m3 Batch Furnace for Hybrid-Heating and Microwave Sintering
Production scale inert atmosphere microwave sintering has not been successful yet, mainly because of lack of suitable equipment. For sintering in air microwave furnaces are available at different industrial scale, e.g., gas-microwave hybrid heated batch kilns or microwave “adiabatic casket” tunnel kiln . Inert atmosphere furnaces require vacuum and gastight coupling of microwave energy. In the State of the Art technology, microwave-coupling windows represent a heat sink inside the sintering furnace. Although, radiation heat loss at temperatures > 1600 °C can be reduced by using a thermally insulating casket inside the microwave furnace, heat loss and temperature gradients caused by the microwave transparent windows are still not acceptable. Therefore, a new concept was developed assisted heating in inert atmosphere sintering furnaces, enabling high power microwave coupling by means of high temperature resistant antennas . This paper presents microwave sintering results of commercial powder metallurgical (PM)-parts, details of the antenna system and the processing technology.
T. Gerdes et al., "Production Scale m3 Batch Furnace for Hybrid-Heating and Microwave Sintering", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 45, pp. 869-874, 2006