Much of this work has been undertaken without the initial cross-disciplinary evaluation and processing system design approach emphasized in this report. Discussion of these results in light of this multidisciplinary approach will serve to highlight the limitations in terms of capabilities and scaling and will lead to identification of promising processes and needed research.
A broad range of applications will be discussed. Much work has been accomplished on ceramic, polymer, and plasma processing, and the lessons that can be learned from this work will help to identify promising applications for future development and will help processors avoid possible pitfalls. Emerging and innovative applications in microwave chemistry, minerals processing, and waste remediation are also reviewed.
The use of microwave energy for processing ceramics and ceramic matrix composites has been the subject of a large amount of exploratory research. The range of materials and processes that have been investigated is shown in Table 5-1.
TABLE 5-1 Examples of Ceramic Microwave Processing Research and Development