FCT Systeme GmbH

Frankenblick, Germany

FCT Systeme GmbH

Frankenblick, Germany

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.86M | Year: 2013

The development of new production processes and innovative sintering technologies, i.e. firing processes during which the conversion of a powder compact into a fully dense bulk compound is realized, as well as the improvement of the current processes and technologies, would permit to enhance the use of ceramics in industrial applications by increased product development and high added value products. This will reinforce the position of the European companies against their competitors in Asia and America. Nowadays, non-conventional machining processes allow cost effective processing of ceramics introducing the possibility to obtain complex 3D shapes. Processes such as vibration assisted and electrical discharge machining solve the limitations of conventional processes like grinding, introducing more flexible and cost effective machining capabilities. The HYMaCER project, driven by 4 dedicated Hi-Tech SMEs, aims at developing a complete supply chain for large size technical ceramic blanks in order to fulfill their need for economically produced, innovative and difficult to densify technical ceramics, all three parameters which are currently limiting the SMEs market expansion. The SMEs will join their knowledge on spark plasma sintering (NANOKER & FCT) and machining of ceramics (Ceratec, ARTOOLING & FCT) to produce innovative technical ceramics with an already proven market potential for dedicated niche markets. In order to realise this, the SMEs will be supported by 3 RTD centres with a long standing expertise in ceramic material development (K.U.Leuven & CSIC), spark plasma sintering (CSIC & K.U. Leuven) and non-conventional machining (K.U.Leuven & IK4-TEKNIKER). The research will be focused on the fabrication of electrically conductive technical ceramics, combining an oxide matrix with a secondary, electrically conductive phase, by means of the largest world-wide hybrid spark plasma sintering equipment, with pressing force up to 400 tons and component capacity up to 400 mm in diameter, of FCT origin, and recently installed at NANOKER.


Car CO2 emissions are to be limited to 120 g/km for all new passenger cars by 2012. If they are unable to achieve targets, then this may have a significant negative impact on manufacturers. Cars also produce emissions such as Nitrogen oxides, Hydrocarbons, Carbon monoxide and particulate matter which are subject to tight controls. For marine application, existing and forthcoming legislation is aiming at reducing the emissions of Carbon Monoxide, Hydrocarbons and particulate matter. In addition, concerns about rising fuel costs are driving the need for greater fuel efficiencies. As a result, a disruptive technology step is required that will enable the manufactures or cars and marine engines to meet the forthcoming legislative standards. One very attractive way of achieving this is to generate power from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) waste heat. A prototype system created by BMW can generate up to 250W of electricity under normal driving conditions that can cut fuel consumption by up to 2%. However, the thermo-electric materials used for these applications to date have a number of clear limitations as they can be easily thermally damaged, are expensive and only achieve low efficiencies. The POWER DRIVER project aims to overcome the limitations relating to the production of an automotive and marine power generation system by integrating cutting-edge nano-structured silicide and functionally graded telluride thermo-electric materials into a heat exchanger assembly that will enable electrical power to be generated from the exhaust system without affecting back-pressure or engine balance. By doing this, the exhaust system created will offer greatly improved environmental performance due to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions (CO2, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulates) at a cost that is affordable to the end-user. It is predicted that (even if the additional weight of the unit is considered) fuel efficiency will increase by at least 5%, leading to a corresponding 5% reduction in emissions.


Lagos M.A.,Tecnalia | Agote I.,Tecnalia | San Juan J.M.,University of the Basque Country | Hennicke J.,FCT Systeme GmbH
TMS Annual Meeting | Year: 2014

Until now TiAl alloys have been produced using a variety of processing methods including forging, extrusion, casting, etc. One important problem is the variation in mechanical properties caused by the segregation in the composition. In order to improve these segregations, powder metallurgy is an interesting alternative for the processing of TiAl alloys. However, some drawbacks of PM have limited the practical application of TiAl alloys such as the costs of the pre-alloyed raw materials, the use of expensive processing methods like HIP, etc. This work presents the activities performed at Tecnalia in the development of novel cost effective PM processing routes. Processes like Spark Plasma Sintering and Combustion Synthesis will be presented. Microstructures, crystallographic phases, chemical analysis and mechanical properties (tensile and creep) of the different processing routes will be detailed. Main advantages of these methods are the short processing time and the possibility of using elemental powders.


Guillon O.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Guillon O.,Institute for Energy Research of Germany | Gonzalez-Julian J.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Dargatz B.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | And 4 more authors.
Advanced Engineering Materials | Year: 2014

Field-assisted sintering technology/Spark plasma sintering is a low voltage, direct current (DC) pulsed current activated, pressure-assisted sintering, and synthesis technique, which has been widely applied for materials processing in the recent years. After a description of its working principles and historical background, mechanical, thermal, electrical effects in FAST/SPS are presented along with the role of atmosphere. A selection of successful materials development including refractory materials, nanocrystalline functional ceramics, graded, and non-equilibrium materials is then discussed. Finally, technological aspects (advanced tool concepts, temperature measurement, finite element simulations) are covered. © 2014 The Authors. Advanced Engineering Materials Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Saheb N.,King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals | Iqbal Z.,King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals | Khalil A.,King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals | Hakeem A.S.,King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Nanomaterials | Year: 2012

Metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNCs) are those metal matrix composites where the reinforcement is of nanometer dimensions, typically less than 100nm in size. Also, it is possible to have both the matrix and reinforcement phases of nanometer dimensions. The improvement in mechanical properties of MMNCs is attributed to the size and strength of the reinforcement as well as to the fine grain size of the matrix. Spark plasma sintering has been used extensively over the past years to consolidate wide range of materials including nanocomposites and was shown to be effective noneconventional sintering method for obtaining fully dense materials with preserved nanostructure features. The objective of this work is to briefly present the spark plasma sintering process and review published work on spark-plasma-sintered metals and metal matrix nanocomposites. Copyright © 2012 Nouari Saheb et al.


Hennicke J.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Kessel H.U.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Kirchner R.,FCT Systeme GmbH
CFI Ceramic Forum International | Year: 2011

Based on an integrated definition of "efficiency", this article explains concepts and principles useful for the realization and improvement of high-efficiency sintering equipment. Real industrial applications and plants are cited for further clarification. In addition, a report is given on the most important ongoing developments that will lead to continuing progress in the efficiency of modern sintering technology.


Kessel H.U.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Hennkke J.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Kessel T.,FCT Systeme GmbH
CFI Ceramic Forum International | Year: 2010

This article discusses the advantages of reduced sintering times, deducing the motivation for the development of new short-time sintering techniques in line with the conventional sintering methods. An introduction is given into various short-time sintering techniques highlighting their benefits and possibilities as well as their limitations. Finally the most important development trends are presented, which are expected to facilitate further progress in terms of cost and resource efficient production and material development.


Kessel H.U.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Hennicke J.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Kirchner R.,FCT Systeme GmbH | Kessel T.,FCT Systeme GmbH
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings | Year: 2010

State-of-the-art spark plasma sintering technology - called FAST/SPS - offers rapid consolidation of a wide range of powders from all fields of ceramic and metallic materials, enabling significantly improved or even completely novel materials. This was shown very frequently in the last decades, resulting in a huge amount of scientific papers, which report promising results at almost all times. But the main part of reported applications of FAST/SPS are still in the area of material development, although more than enough opportunities for an industrial implementation were generated. Taking the next step forward to an industrial production of novel materials by FAST/SPS is currently highly dependent on the availability of suitable equipment. After a short overview of the FAST/SPS technology this paper explains the most important industrial production requirements, which has to be fulfilled by the FAST/SPS equipment. Subsequently examples for industrial applications will be presented, concluded by a preview of future developments.

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