Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a remarkable technique for consolidating a large variety of advanced materials with rapid heating rates. However, adjusting the cooling rates has so far faced limitations. This communication discusses the potentials of SPS integrated with a novel gas quenching system that can allow metallic materials to be sintered and rapidly quenched directly after the sintering step, saving energy and costs. Results on numerical simulations of rapid cooling-SPS and the mechanical properties and microstructures of Ti6Al4V alloy are discussed; exhibiting the feasibility of this rapid cooling SPS technique and the major implications for the field of SPS and metallic powder consolidation.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2013.05.005