Member, The American Ceramic Society.
Fifty Years of Research and Development Coming to Fruition; Unraveling the Complex Interactions during Processing of Transparent Magnesium Aluminate (MgAl2O4) Spinel
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013
© 2013 The American Ceramic Society
Journal of the American Ceramic Society
Volume 96, Issue 11, pages 3341–3365, November 2013
How to Cite
Rubat du Merac, M., Kleebe, H.-J., Müller, M. M. and Reimanis, I. E. (2013), Fifty Years of Research and Development Coming to Fruition; Unraveling the Complex Interactions during Processing of Transparent Magnesium Aluminate (MgAl2O4) Spinel. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 96: 3341–3365. doi: 10.1111/jace.12637
- Issue published online: 11 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 5 JUL 2013
- U.S. Army Research Office. Grant Number: #W911 NF-09-1-0509
The need for materials for demanding optical applications has engendered a resurgent interest in transparent ceramics. Transparent polycrystalline magnesium aluminate spinel is one especially promising and rapidly maturing technology that can fill this niche. Although it has been studied for over 50 yr, it is only recently that highly transparent components with acceptable mechanical properties have been reliably fabricated at reasonable cost. Development has been hindered by the inherent difficulty in sintering spinel to the near-theoretical density required for transparency, a high sensitivity to powder and processing parameters, variable stoichiometry, and a lack of understanding of the synthesis–processing–property relationships. The driver of recent success is an emerging understanding of complex, multiscale, multivariable interactions that occur during green-body formation and sintering. In particular, certain key variables play a decisive role in determining compact properties and their evolution must be controlled from synthesis to the finished product. This article features the interactions between these key variables during processing and gives an exposé of the state of the art in transparent polycrystalline spinel fabrication.