Microwave assisted large scale sintering of multilayer electroceramic devices
journal contributionposted on 07.12.2009, 10:08 by Vaidhy VaidhyanathanVaidhy Vaidhyanathan, Ketharam Annapoorani, J.G.P. Binner, R. Raghavendra
The feasibility of employing the microwave methodology for the processing of integrated passive devices (IPDs), nanocrystalline ZnO radials and nano multilayer varistor (MLVs) devices was explored. Methodical microwave sintering experiments were carried out using a multimode, 2.45 GHz microwave applicator. Effect of various experimental parameters such as heating rate, cooling rate, soaking time, sintering temperature etc. on the processing of these device components was investigated in detail. The resultant products were characterized for microstructure, composition and electrical performance. The various stages involved in taking the laboratory research to industrial scale-up production were also examined. The use of microwaves for the processing of MLVs was found to genuinely improve the electrical properties in both small scale (~200 devices/ batch) and large scale (~12000 devices/batch) sintering situations. For a stand alone microwave heating process a back-toback cascading /conveyer belt arrangement is recommended for continuous large scale production. However hybrid heating methodology was found to provide the capability of stacking operations and could be helpful in avoiding the use of ‘casketing’, besides providing the possibility of achieving uniform temperature across a large volume. The technique seems to be attractive in terms of its simplicity, rapidity, economic viability and the superior product performance achieved in all the cases augers well for its general applicability.
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