Ilaria Forno, Marco Actis Grande, Alessandro Fais
Precious metals are widely used for a variety of applications, among which are luxury goods, biomedical devices, and electronic components. Requiring precise components, those sectors are usually looking into lost-wax casting, machining, and, more recently, metal injection moulding. Material or (thermal) energy consumption and demand for the aforementioned processes are mainly suitable for stable crystalline structures. The applicability of a field-assisted sintering technique (FAST) — Electro-Sinter-Forging (ESF) — to a high-karatage gold powder is explored in the present research work. FAST is characterized by extremely rapid processing times, also enabling the production of metastable phases. Different powders with different features (as atomized, ball-milled, and admixed with nanodiamonds) were taken into account and fast-sintered; and the resulting samples were analyzed in terms of final density, microstructure, and hardness.
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