Spark Plasma Sintering of Nanostructured Aluminum: Influence of Tooling Material on Microstructure
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The influence of tooling material, i.e., graphite and WC-Co, on the microstructure of a spark plasma sintering (SPS) consolidated, nanostructured aluminum alloy is studied in this paper. The results show that tooling selection influences microstructure evolution, independent of process parameters. The influence of tooling on microstructure is rationalized on the basis of the following factors: heating rate, electrical current density, localized heating, and imposed pressure. A theoretic framework, based on the physical properties of graphite and WC-Co, is formulated to explain the observed behavior.