GT is likely showcasing it’s Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technology in Orlando based on the “#sintering” in the company’s tweet. Here is some information on GT’s SPS technology that was acquired through GT’s acquisition of Thermal Technologies as well as the targeted industries this technology can impact.
Thermal Technology Acquisition
GT made it clear almost two years ago that they were interested in getting into thermo electric converters for hybrid electric vehicles. This interest was highlighted the press release when GT acquired Thermal Technology.
The company has also acquired Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technology, which allows dense ceramics to be obtained under uniform heating at relatively low temperatures and in short processing times. The SPS technology is expected to have a wide range of applications including with medical applications, sputtering targets, space applications and thermoelectric converters for hybrid electric cars.
One important item to highlight is Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technology, this wild machine turns ceramic powder into a dense crystalline material in less than 5 minutes versus other machines that take hours. GT envisions using this technology to and their ceramic patent (acquired through GT’s purchase of Twin Creek’s Technology) to create a thin semiconductor lamina adhered to a ceramic body. The ceramic bodies would be formed using GT’s SPS technology. The patent states that devices can be formed in the lamina, including photovoltaic devices. The ceramic body and lamina can withstand high processing temperatures. In some embodiments, the ceramic body may be conductive. This ceramic patent also involves Hyperion to produce thin semiconductor lamina.
Unique to SPS is the DC current generating heat internally, as opposed to conventional methods of materials densification such as hot pressing, wherein the heat is external to the sample. While other traditional methods of materials processing require hours to reach peak temperature, Thermal Technology’s SPS takes only minutes. The clear benefits of SPS are the significant savings of time and energy and the ability to retain nano-structures.
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