The development and application of spark plasma sintering technique in advanced metal structure materials: a review

X.Y. Li 1,2*,
Z.H. Zhang 1,3,
X.W. Cheng 1,3,
G.J. Huo 1,
S.Z. Zhang 1,
Q. Song 1

1 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, 100081, China
2 School of Physics and Electronic Information, Yan’an, Yan’an, 716000, China
3 National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Materials under Shock and Impact, Beijing, 100081, China,

Powder Metallurgy - Kiev: Frantsevich Institute for Problems of Materials Science NASU, 2021, #07/08


Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a type of pulsed electric current-assisted sintering technique. This method allows for rapid consolidation of powder materials into dense bulk when simultaneously applying uniaxial pressure and pulsed electrical current in a vacuum or protective atmosphere. Many scholars and researchers have realized the importance of the SPS due to its significant advantages in controlling the powder surface condition, atomic diffusion, phase stability, and crystal growth behavior. All these features inevitably influence the densification behavior and resulting physical and mechanical properties of the sintered materials. This review represents an extensive introduction of recent developments and fundamental principles in SPS techniques after a general description of the method and its outstanding advantages. A possible design for the SPS technique is proposed as well. Subsequently, the effects of each operating parameter, including current, voltage, and uniaxial pressure, on the densification behavior of advanced metals and alloys under various sintering conditions are reviewed. Finally, the successful applications of the SPS in preparing novel metal structural materials, such as high-quality special steels, new lightweight alloy materials with high performance, high entropy alloys, and other metal alloys, are described in detail.