France – Saint Etienne – Mines Saint-Etienne – Research on ceramic materials in the Material Science and Mechanical Engineering Center

Contact GFC : François Valdivieso

The Mechanics and Materials Processing department is mainly focused on controlling the final micro and meso-structures of materials for energy and transportation industry, obtained through direct elaboration processes :
• Structural composites, bio-based organic composites with hemp/flax fibres and bio-sourced resins for instance, obtained by Liquid Composite Moulding processes.
• ceramics or metal-ceramics obtained by powder metallurgy process , using rapid and economic sintering process as fast micro-wave sintering
Mechanics is the main vector through which architectured materials are tackled consistently by collaborative task crews gathering chemists, materials scientists and mechanicians, leading both physical and computational modelling approaches. For this, MPE masters a set of experimental tools to monitor these processes, completed by dedicated or industrial softwares.
One of the research fields concerns the ontrol of micro/mesostructure during the powder metallurgy process :
• The architectured multi-materials : multilayers of single phase or composite materials for which the evolution of the interfaces during the sintering process determined.
• Microwaves sintering : besides the strong economic and technological aspects, the microwave sintering is a major scientific axis : revealing and understanding the “microwave effect” in several ceramic, metallic, composite materials by using specific tools : shrinkage measurements by an optical method, determination of thermal gradient on surface samples, and the use of pulsed or continuous generators, cavity of various configurations…
• Simulation of sintering : the current works and the mid-term projects in sintering simulation target the role of dopants on the microstructures evolution as well as the consideration of the problems of interface for a bi-material; those studies are naturally in relation with the physical modeling described in the previous two points. Our aim is to introduce also the microwave effect into models.
• Pressure field in a granular packing during sintering.