Spark plasma sintering for multi-scale surface engineering of materials
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- Mulukutla, M., Singh, A. & Harimkar, S.P. JOM (2010) 62: 65. doi:10.1007/s11837-010-0090-y
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Recently, significant progress has been made in understanding the effect of multi-scale microstructural features, including nano-, micro-, and macro-features, on the properties of materials. Controlling the length scale of micro-structural features provides tremendous opportunities for enhancing the properties of materials, including extraordinary strength and hardness, unprecedented damage from tribological contacts, and improvements in a number of functional properties of the materials. Spark plasma sintering (SPS) process which combines the effects of uniaxial pressure and pulsed direct current is becoming increasingly important for the processing of bulk shapes of amorphous and nanostructured materials. These materials can also be good candidates for high-performance coatings. This article presents a review of our ongoing efforts to use SPS to produce engineered coatings of amorphous and nanostructured materials for various applications, including structural, tribological, and biomedical applications.