This paper describes a sintering technique for ceramics and ceramic-based composites, using water as a transient solvent to effect densification (i.e. sintering) at temperatures between room temperature and 200 °C. To emphasize the incredible reduction in sintering temperature relative to conventional thermal sintering this new approach is named the “Cold Sintering Process” (CSP). Basically CSP uses a transient aqueous environment to effect densification by a mediated dissolution–precipitation process. CSP of NaCl, alkali molybdates and V2O5with small concentrations of water are described in detail, but the process is extended and demonstrated for a diverse range of chemistries (oxides, carbonates, bromides, fluorides, chlorides and phosphates), multiple crystal structures, and multimaterial applications. Furthermore, the properties of selected CSP samples are demonstrated to be essentially equivalent as samples made by conventional thermal sintering.
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