Microstructure and mechanical properties of cold sintered porous alumina ceramics

Bilyaminu Suleiman, Hongtao Zhang, Yulong Ding, Yongliang Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

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New innovative approach to fabricate porous alumina ceramics by cold sintering process (CSP) is presented using NaCl as pore forming agent. The effects of CSP and post-annealing temperature on the microstructure and mechanical strength were investigated. Al2O3–NaCl composite with bulk density of 2.92 g/cm3 was compacted firstly using CSP and then a porous structure was formed using post-annealing at 1200°C–1500°C for 30 min. Brazilian test method and Vickers hardness test were used to determine the indirect tensile strength and hardness of the porous alumina, respectively. Meanwhile, the phases and the microstructure were respectively examined using X-ray diffractometer and scanning electron microscope (SEM) complemented by the 3D image analysis with X-ray tomography (XRT). SEM structural and XRT image analysis of cold sintered composite showed a dense structure with NaCl precipitated between Al2O3 particles. The NaCl volatization from the composite was observed during the annealing and then complete porous Al2O3 structure was formed. The porosity decreased from 48 vol% to 28 vol% with the annealing temperature increased from 1200 °C to 1500 °C, while hardness and mechanical strength increased from 14.3 to 115.4 HV and 18.29–132.82 MPa respectively. The BET analysis also showed a complex pore structure of micropores, mesopores and macropores with broad pore size distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13531-13540
Number of pages10
JournalCeramics International
Issue number10
Early online date28 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Nigerian Government via Petroleum Technology Development Fund is appreciated for the Ph.D. scholarship support. The authors would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the United Kingdom (Grant Nos. EP/N000714/1 and EP/N021142/1 ).


  • AlO
  • Cold sintering process
  • Hardness
  • Mechanical strength
  • Microstructure
  • Porosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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