Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 30, Issue 12, pp 3061–3074 | Cite as

An improvement in processing of hydroxyapatite ceramics

  • M. G. S. Murray
  • J. Wang
  • C. B. Ponton
  • P. M. Marquis


Hydroxyapatite ceramics have been fabricated via two different processing routes, a conventional processing route and an emulsion-refined route. The conventional precipitation processing of powder precursors for hydroxyapatite ceramics results in the formation of hard particle agglomerates, which degrade both the compaction and densification behaviour of the resultant powder compacts. An emulsion-refinement step has been shown to be effective in “softening” particle agglomerates present in the conventionally processed powder precursor. As a result, the emulsion-refined powder compact exhibits both a higher green density and a higher sintered density than the un-refined powder compact, on sintering at temperatures above 800 °C. The effect of powder agglomeration on densification during both the initial and later stage of sintering is discussed. The attainable sintered density of the conventionally processed material was found to be limited by the presence of hard powder agglomerates, which were not effectively eliminated by the application of a pressing pressure of 200 MPa. These hard powder agglomerates, which form highly densified regions in the sintered ceramic body, commenced densification at around 400 °C which is more than 100 °C lower than the densification onset temperature for the emulsion-refined powder compact, when heated at a rate of 5 °C min−1. The inter-agglomerate voids, manifested by the differential sintering, resulted in the formation of large, crack-like pores, which act as the strength-limiting microstructural defects in the conventionally processed hydroxyapatite. A fracture strength of 170±12.3 MPa was measured for the emulsion-refined material compared to 70±15.4 MPa for the conventionally processed material, when both were sintered at 1100 °C for 2 h.


Powder Compact Fracture Strength Processing Route Particle Agglomerate Powder Precursor 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. G. S. Murray
    • 1
  • J. Wang
    • 2
  • C. B. Ponton
    • 1
  • P. M. Marquis
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Metallurgy and MaterialsThe University of BirminghamEdgbastonUK
  2. 2.IRC in Materials for High Performance ApplicationsThe University of BirminghamEdgbastonUK
  3. 3.Biomaterials, School of DentistryThe University of BirminghamEdgbastonUK

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