Conventional, free or pressure less sintering is the simplest technique which involves heating of a powder compact, previously prepared at ambient temperatures, without applying any external pressure. It can be conducted with various box furnaces or tube furnaces under different atmospheres (oxidizing, reducing, inert, and vacuum). Through the use of this method, a highly applicable varistor can be mass produced. Varistors are of a particular interest for modern surge protection of over-voltage. Nowadays, ZnO ceramic varistors are most favorable in electronic industry due to their excellent electrical characteristics and high energy handling capabilities. By optimizing the method during sintering process, the number of potential barriers formed can be controlled thus improving the capability of the low-voltage varistor.
Part of the book: Sintering Technology