Micro-fast for the sintering of the superconductor material YBCO

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In the last twenty years, a large number of investigations and research groups, for the development of miniaturization of products and devices used in the industry, can be found. It has been noticed that the demand for micro-­‐scale manufactured parts has experimented a strong increased. A novel microforming technology, named Micro-­‐FAST has become one of the most promising methods for micromanufacturing with a competitive and efficient low cost, which results a very important requirement to take into account nowadays. Micro-­‐FAST is the field assisted sintering technique and it was first proposed by a group of researchers for the forming of microcomponents. Some of the researchers, working on the improvement and development of this technique, are part of the Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management department of the university of Strathclyde, where the experiments mentioned in this project have been carried out. Following the knowledge and previous work they have performed with different materials, in this project it has been realized a Micro-­‐FAST using a superconductor material, Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide, known as YBCO or Y-­‐123. Oxide superconductors are presenting a high attractive for technical applications recently, since it has been demonstrated they can act as superconductors at liquid nitrogen temperature. Because of this, it has been considered it can be a great challenge to carry out a Micro-­‐FAST with this kind of material, as it is something that is no record on any previous report or magazine. This project consists in 6 chapters, where can be found a full study of the features of this superconductor material as well as of the characteristics and considerations to take into account for the production of dense YBCO bulk from powders of this material, using Micro-­‐ FAST. It also shows the resulting samples obtained after the sintering process carried out in a 3800 Gleeble machine at the Imperial College in London. The different parameters selected for the several experiment are indicated and it can be also observed a deep analysis of the microstructure and the relative density of the samples using high quality devices provided by the university. The goal of the present work is to fabricate highly dense YBCO body by Micro-­‐FAST in order to improve the sintering time and also analyse the effect on the microstructure and density when some parameters, such as sintering temperature, pressure, heating rate and/or holding time, are changed.
Superconductor materials, Micromanufacturing, Micro-FAST, Materiales superconductores
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