Sintering of 3D-Printed Glass/HAp Composites


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We report the sintering of 3D-printed composites of 13-93 bioactive glass and hydroxyapatite (HAp) powders. The sintering process is characterized on conventionally produced powder compacts with varying HAp content. A numeric approximation of the densification kinetics is then obtained on the basis of Frenkel, Mackenzie–Shuttleworth, and Einstein–Roscoe models, and optimized sintering conditions for 3D-printed structures are derived. Fully isotropic sintering of complex cellular composites is obtained by continuous heating to 750°C at a rate of 2 K/min for a HAp content of 40 wt%. The approach can readily be generalized for printing and sintering of similar glass-ceramic composites.