The European Ceramic Society


Oct 1, 2021

Sintering is a crucial step of ceramic processing! by Huyra Araujo

Probably, this sentence is not a novel issue for ceramists and materials scientists.

Huyra Estevao de Araujo However, since ceramic fabrication is a millenary activity, the compilation of all empirical sintering knowledge in models and theories able to predict final microstructure still consolidates a challenge for Ceramic Science. Although density is an important parameter to assess the sintering process, a polycrystalline ceramic microstructure shows several other features, e.g., grain shape, symmetry, grain size distribution, and interface energy, which can powerfully change the final properties.   

I am a physicist and have obtained a master's and Ph.D. degree in Materials Engineering and Science at the Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil. During my graduate studies, I dedicated my efforts to understand ionic conductors based on Ceria. Firstly, in the master stage, I studied doped Ceria electrolytes, oxygen ion conductors,  and  the Ph.D. have shifted to doped Barium Cerate electrolytes, commonly known for their protonic conductivity. Both of the materials are strongly related to Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Technologies. Between 2017 and 2018, I was a Fulbright Scholar as Visiting Researcher at Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Center at the University of South Carolina, USA, working with processing modeling for protonic conductors. 

Although the subject of my research has always been related to Electrochemical materials, I have always chosen a ceramic processing approach, more specifically the sintering step. In some way, based on my experimental physics background, the microstructure-sintering puzzles always have highlighted the challenge of how to build an overall ceramic processing-microstructure analysis. Models like Sintering Maps and Master Sintering Curves can be considered examples of sintering modeling based on experimental data. 

The research is currently focused on developing a microstructure characterization based on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and create parameters related to scoring grain shapes, grain symmetry, dihedral angles, and crystallographic misorientation at interfaces. The goal is to build a  Master Curve based software that calculates activation energy values related to each microstructure parameter from micrographs analysis and data( symmetry, interfaces and shape). In summary, we aim to enrich the sintering analysis by combining thermal history, densification activation energy values, from Master Sintering Curve, and novel activation energies for each parameter obtained from  A.I. microstructure characterization. 


Screenshots from microstructure geometric characterization based on measurement and reproduction of real grain shapes and their comparison with idealized poliedra grain shape. 


Contact and Information 
Prof. Dr. Huyra Estevao de Araujo 
Associate Professor - Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Sao Paulo - Brazil 
Instagram: @huyraestevao  
Research Gate:  

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