Asee peer logo

An Experiment On Sintering Characteristics Of Coarse Nano Scale Alumina For Manufacturing Students

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Novel Upper-Level Materials Curricula

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.178.1 - 9.178.12

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Rajiv Asthana

author page

Richard Rothaupt

author page

Danny Bee

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


R. Asthana, D. J. Bee, and R. Rothaupt

Technology Department University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI 54751

1. Introduction This paper describes an elementary experiment designed to elevate student understanding of the basic powder metallurgy process through hands-on, team-based lab activities on ceramic sintering. The experiment is done as a part of the course MFGE 343 Metal Casting, Ceramics and Powder Metal Processes, which is offered as either a 2.0 or 3.0 credit option at the junior level to manufacturing engineers. The objective of this course is to gain a general working knowledge of the theory and practice of metal casting, powder metallurgy (PM) and ceramic forming. The objective is realized through a combination of traditional lectures, problem solving using engineering theory, and selected hands-on activities to reinforce a basic understanding of the processes. The principal PM lab activity is a study on the densification behavior of sintered ceramics, that is performed on a one- or two-week rotation cycle in a cooperative manner by student teams. Data are shared between teams, independently analyzed by each team, and presented in a written report that must also interpret the data in light of the theoretical knowledge. The activity is scheduled in the second half of the semester so that the theoretical development of topics could be synchronized with the lab.

This paper describes 1) the learning objectives of the experiment, 2) the basic experimental methodology, 3) summary and analysis of student-generated data from the last seven years, 4) an assessment of the lab’s educational value as perceived by the students, and 5) work in progress to add further educational `value’ to the experiment.

2. Learning Objectives The primary objective is to learn, through hands-on activities, the influence of sintering variables on the densification of ceramics. The lab enables the students to explore the effects of sintering temperature, sintering time, and compaction pressure on the density, porosity, and linear shrinkage of a technologically ascendant nano-ceramic. It requires the students to utilize MgO- doped alumina powders finer than those for which densification data are available in popular textbooks [1,2]. For example, the effect of sintering temperature (1200 – 1600 C) on the densification of relatively coarse MgO-doped Al2O3 (mean size: 1,300 nm and 800 nm) has been presented in [1,2]. By utilizing finer nanoscale MgO-doped Al2O3 (nominal size: 380 nm) for densification over the same temperature (1200-1600 C) and time (0.5 h to 4.0 h) as presented in “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Asthana, R., & Rothaupt, R., & Bee, D. (2004, June), An Experiment On Sintering Characteristics Of Coarse Nano Scale Alumina For Manufacturing Students Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015