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26.08.2019 | Ausgabe 3/2019 Open Access

Advances in Manufacturing 3/2019

Accelerating sample preparation of graded thermoelectric materials using an automatic powder feeding system

Advances in Manufacturing > Ausgabe 3/2019
Hua-Yan Pu, Rong-Qing Xie, Yan Peng, Yang Yang, Shi-Yang He, Jun Luo, Yi Sun, Shao-Rong Xie, Jun Luo
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40436-019-00269-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Jun Luo listed first in author group is the corresponding author.


In recent years, the development of techniques for the controlled preparation of functional graded materials (FGMs) has become a vigorous research field. In this study, to improve the efficiency and accuracy of sample preparations, an automated feeding system based on gravimetric principles for dry powder with three dosing feeders is designed and realized. The feeding rate and accuracy can be regulated by coordinating the protruded length L (mm) and rotational speed V (r/min) of the feeder stirrer. To demonstrate this automatic sample preparation system, the well-known thermoelectric material BixSb2−xTe3 (x = 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7 and 0.8) is selected and prepared by the developed system, and the composition distribution of the functional graded material is characterized. Experimental results show that the BixSb2−xTe3 (x = 0.3–0.8) functionally graded material crystalizes in the rhombohedral phase after hot-pressing sintering and annealing and the prepared sample has a good gradient composition distribution. This verifies the reliability and accuracy of the feeding system. The concept of samples with a gradient component and application of the automatic powder feeding system could considerably accelerate the research and development of new materials.
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