Ceramic powders are commonly used as precursors for several ceramic part manufacturing processes. Their dielectric characterization is necessary for all the cases where electromagnetic radiation is used to induce heating. In support of such activities at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the present work introduces a technique for measuring the complex dielectric constants of ceramic powders at microwave frequencies. The data produced by this technique is critical for the proper modeling of ceramic powder microwave absorption and will assist in ongoing research into volumetric microwave sintering. This technique involves a transmission line measurement using a network analyzer and waveguide setup. Dielectric parameters are then extracted from these measurements using two established methods. Complex relative permittivity measurements are presented for ceramic powders ofyttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ), barium titanate (BaTiO3), zinc oxide (ZnO), and titanium dioxide (TiO2) as well as a method for containing the sample shape during measurement. Experiments were carried out between 25 and 40GHz; in the Ka microwave band. Experimental results suggest that the dielectric constant (ε′) of these powders are similar to those of bulk. Results are compared to lower frequency reference data showing reasonable agreement.

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