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After shaping and first-stage binder removal, the component (with remaining backbone binder) is heated to the sintering temperature. Further heating induces densification, evident as dimensional shrinkage, pore rounding, and improved strength. This chapter begins with a discussion on the events that are contributing to sintering densification, followed by a discussion on the driving forces, such as surface energy, and high-temperature atomic motion as well as the factors affecting these processes. The process of microstructure evolution in sintering is then described, followed by a discussion on the tools used for measuring bulk properties to monitor sintering and density. The effects of key parameters, such as particle size, oxygen content, sintering atmosphere, and peak temperature, on the sintered properties are discussed. Further, the chapter covers sintering cycles and sintering practices adopted as well as provides information on dimensional control and related concerns of sintering. Cost issues associated with sintering are finally covered.

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