Title page for ETD etd-317182749721461

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Fischer, Patrick
URN etd-317182749721461
Title Numerical Simulation of Microwave Sintering of Zinc Oxide
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Diller, Thomas E.
Scott, Elaine P.
Thomas, James R. Jr. Committee Chair
  • zinc oxide
  • microwave
  • heat transfer
  • permittivity
  • thermal wave
Date of Defense 1997-05-08
Availability unrestricted
Experiments at the University of Maryland Plasma Physics

Laboratory have discovered an unusual temperature

response in the form of a "thermal wave" which begins at

the center and propagates towards the surface of a zinc

oxide sample, when heated in a microwave cavity without

the presence of oxygen. This effect is believed to be

caused by the irregular temperature dependence of the

dielectric properties of zinc oxide, particularly dielectric

loss. Two thermocouple probes were used to measure the

temperature response in a small cylindrical sample of zinc

oxide packed in powder insulation, and heated in a

microwave oven. In order to determine if the unusual

response is caused by the dielectric properties, this work

uses a finite-difference mathematical model to simulate the

experiments, both for the case of zinc oxide heated in

ordinary air, as well as for the case of zinc oxide heated in

nitrogen. A revised version of the model is used to

determine if the thermocouple probe has any effect on the

temperature of the sample. The spatial and temporal

temperature distribution results from the model indicate

that the thermocouple probe has a negligible effect on the

results and that the "thermal wave" can be attributed to the

irregular temperature dependence of the dielectric loss of

the material.

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