SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF ADVANCED MATERIALS, vol.11, no.6, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
We have studied the combined effects of the templated grain growth and magnetic alignment processes on sintering, anisotropic sintering shrinkage, microstructure development and texture in ZnO ceramics. Suspensions of 0-10 vol % ZnO template particles were slip cast in a 12 T rotating magnetic field. Sintering and texture characteristics were investigated via thermomechanical analysis and electron backscatter diffraction, respectively. Sintering as well as texture characteristics depend on template concentration. For the studied ZnO system, there is a critical template concentration (2 vol % in this study) above which densification is limited by the templates owing to constrained sintering. Below this limit, the densification is enhanced and the anisotropic shrinkage is reduced, which is attributed to densifying characteristics of the templates.