The Cold Sintering process has been developed by Penn State University at the Material Research Institute. It allows for combining different material classes for a wide variety of applications. The lower temperature sintering process allows for the fabrication of inorganic compounds that could otherwise not be combined at high densities. This process has opened up many new opportunities in the electronic device industry, including multilayer electroceramic devices. Fabrication of multilayer devices involves both tape casting and screen printing of pastes. Both of these processes use binders for temporary strength. The binder for these applications needs to be clean burning. Additionally, for the cold sintering process, the binder needs to be removed at temperatures as low as 150℃ because of the lower sintering temperatures. QPAC® polyalkylene carbonate, specifically QPAC®40 Polypropylene carbonate, meets both the clean-burning and low-temperature requirements.
Penn State’s research shows that the QPAC®40 is an effective binder for the cold sintering process. It can be removed completely from the formed parts at temperatures low enough to avoid oxidation and/or not affect low-temperature stability materials such as polymers. The research conducted also showed that the QPAC®40 binder can be completely removed as low as 125°C. This enables the use of materials that offer unique properties of electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and heat capacity to name a few.