The effect of different calcination temperatures on the powder characteristics and the sintered density of synthetic hydroxyapatite (HA) powders, produced using two different processing routes, was examined. Powders were produced by either drying, milling and sieving an as-precipitated HA or by spray-drying a slurry of precipitated HA. Calcining the two powders at temperatures between 400 and 1000 degreesC did not significantly affect the powder particle size. The specific surface areas of the two powders, however, were reduced from 70-80 m(2)/g for a calcination temperature of 400 degreesC to approximately 5-7 m(2)/g for 1000 degreesC. Analysis of the surfaces of the HA powders using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) illustrated the coarsening and subsequent sintering of the sub-micron crystallites that constitute a powder particle as the calcination temperature increased, corresponding to the decrease in surface area of the powders. The sintered densities of the final ceramics were not significantly affected by calcining the powders. Microhardness measurements of ceramics prepared from powders calcined at different temperatures showed no significant variations with calcination temperature or powder processing method. The results of this study have illustrated that for applications where HA may be used in powder form, for example in plasma-spraying and for the production of HA-polymer composites, calcining the HA will significantly affect the powder properties, namely the surface area and morphology of the powders. For applications requiring HA in a dense ceramic form, for example as granules or blocks, calcining the powders does not significantly affect the properties of the final ceramic. (C) 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
- SINTERING BEHAVIOR