PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY PARK United States
Apply the non-equilibrium process known as cold sintering to a broad spectrum of material systems to explore and establish the maximum potential for future research interests to the Air Force, establishing the enabling critical basic science. Cold sintering is a new sintering technique that incites densification and grain growth in ceramic materials below 400C having been demonstrated in several ceramic materials already. The dramatic reduction in sintering temperature about an order of magnitude of any polycrystalline ceramic is deserving of its own merit, but such low temperatures also present new opportunities for nanocomposites and grain boundary functionalization between ceramics and polymersmetals, hitherto unattainable due to the incompatibilities of the conventional sintering temperatures and the thermal stability of these such additives. The objectives of the research included the understanding of densifying conventional ceramic systems far from their equilibrium sintering temperature, designing new nanocomposites of ceramics with polymersmetals made possible by cold sintering, and probe the mechanisms of cold sintering for guidance on future research. In this report each of these aspects was successfully addressed.