Processing of ceramic materials has also a strong impact in the quality of the consolidated body, as it plays a key role in the resulting microstructure and, as a consequence, in its final properties. Advanced ceramic materials are commonly processed as powders and densified via a high-temperature process. Traditional processing techniques include hot isostatic pressing, mold casting, and sintering in conventional ovens. As ceramics require very high processing temperatures compared to metals and polymers, these processes tend to be very energy intensive and result in higher production costs to the manufacturers. Therefore, new technologies known as nonconventional sintering techniques, such as microwave technology, are being developed in order to reduce energy consumption, while maintaining or even improving the characteristics of the resulting ceramic material. This novel and innovative technology aims at helping industrial sectors lower their production costs and, at the same time, lessen their environmental impact. On the other hand, it is interesting and necessary to know and explore the basic principles of microwaves to advance in the development of materials that demand, every day more, the different industrial sectors. This chapter presents the most recent advances of two materials with a great industrial future: zirconia and lithium aluminosilicate.
Part of the book: Sintering Technology