Chemistry and sintering behaviour of thin hydroxyapatite ceramics with controlled porosity
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Hydroxyapatite ceramic tapes (several hundred micrometres thick), have been prepared at different porosity levels, using the tape casting technique. The reactions, which occur during processing and sintering of the tapes, have been characterized by power X-ray diffraction analysis, differential thermal analysis (DTA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Volume changes have been measured during different stages of heat treatment. These can be attributed to phase transformations of the starting materials, which determine the sintering behaviour and final porosity of the samples. Measurements of the elastic modulus were performed by the resonant frequency method. A cubic dependence on the relative density is found. Finally, some possible improvements for the technique and selection of powders are suggested, based on the reported results.
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