Hot Pressing

We are able to compare different hot pressing and heating techniques to optimize and exploit the full potential of your product. This could also provide an excellent basis for investment decisions in your company.

Rapid hot pressing / Spark Plasma Sintering

Direct hot pressing is, from its basics, a well-approved and known technology, but the past decades were dominated by devices operated at temperatures of max. 1,400° C and mainly used for the consolidation of wear resistant inserts for cutting wheels and drill bits or in grinding discs.

SPS (Spark Plasma Sintering) or FAST (Field Assisted Sintering) machines are commercial names for these technologies, typically further developed for hot pressing temperatures up to 2,400° C and even above. The big advantages are the rapid heating rates and the short processing cycles. This does not only lead to cost effective production, but also to interesting effects studied in fine grained microstructure and corresponding properties of the consolidated materials.

Therefore this technique can be effectively used for the consolidation of materials usually difficult to sinter. The technology is particularly beneficial for high temperature materials, especially if fully dense or fine grained microstructures in combination with an excellent performance are required.

Direct hot pressing is characterised by a high heating/cooling rate (up to 400 K/min) and therefore offers a very attractive process for economic fabrication of high performance materials.

Typical Process Parameters

Heating rate 100 - 200 K/min (max 400 K/min)
Cooling rate 100 - 200 K/min
Max. temperature 2,400° C
Mech. pressure 30MPa
Atmospheres Vac, Ar, N2, forming gas
Sample max. 300mmx300mm
Typical cycle < 1 hrs

Conventional Hot Pressing

Conventional Hot pressing is a state of the art technology used for the manufacturing of high performance materials. This technology is frequently used for the manufacturing of various materials which are difficult to prepare via liquid phase processing or cannot be sufficiently densified by using powder technology such as pressing and sintering. This includes materials like pure nitrides, carbides, oxides or borides with densities close to 100 % of the theoretical density.

The productivity of the conventional hot pressing is characterized by a cycle time of several hours (typically >6 hours; >12 hours for hot pressing at temperatures up to 2,200° C), but a good loading capacity. Like in a batch furnace it is possible to produce several pieces within one run - this makes this technology competitive.

Our technicum offers a variety of heating and hot pressing technologies you can find in the general overview.

Typical Process Parameters

Heating rate 10 - 20 K/min
Cooling rate 10 - 20 K/min
Max. temperature 2,200° C
Mech. pressure 30 MPa
Atmospheres Vac, Ar, N2, H2, N2/H2
Sample max. 200mm
Typical cycle > 6 hrs

Inductive Hot Pressing

Inductive hot pressing is a consolidation method which can be seen as an alternative approach to direct hot pressing. With this process high heating rates – compared to direct hot pressing – can be realized.

Besides its usage for hot pressing, this technology can also be applied for rapid sintering experiments (without applying mechanical pressure) as well as for first screening tests (small samples, 10 - 20 mm) if expensive raw materials are used.

Typical Process Parameters

Heating rate 100 - 200 K/min
Cooling rate 100 K/min
Max. temperature 2,000° C
Mech. pressure 30 – 50 MPa
Atmospheres Vac, Ar, N2, forming gas
Sample max. 35 mm
Typical cycle < 20 min

Single Segment Sinter Pressing

Single Segment Sinter Pressing is a technology used in the diamond cutting tool industry. RHP sees a big potential for this technology in a wide range of future products. Our focuses within our Research Studio Austria are on further necessary development of the process and equipment to reach goals in production of new functional materials and evolution of this technology to handle materials sensitive to oxygen. We also focus on the need of high processing temperatures exceeding the solutions currently available on the market.

RSP uses a permanently heated steel tool. The sample, which is precompacted in an automated cold press, is put into the hot die and sintered/compacted for 10 - 90 seconds. This procedure results in extremely high heating rates within the sample and a cycle time of seconds before the sintered sample is ejected and optionally quenched. We are looking forward to innovative ideas and realizing your product within this fast and economic technology!

Typical Process Parameters

Heating rate 2000 - 6000 K/min
Cooling rate 1000 - 5000 K/min (quenching possible)
Max. temperature 1,000° C
Mech. pressure 200 MPa
Atmospheres air (not protected)
Sample max. 30 mm
Typical cycle < 1 min