A comparative investigation regarding the consolidation behavior displayed by three commercially available hydroxyapatite powders during Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) is performed in this work. Starting powders are different in terms of purity, particle size, morphology and thermochemical stability. A completely dense product without secondary species is produced by SPS at 900 °C, when starting from highly pure powders with relatively small sized particles and grains. The resulting consolidated material, consisting of sub-micrometer sized hydroxyapatite grains, exhibits optical transparency and good mechanical properties.
On the other hand, temperature levels up to 1,200 °C are needed to sinter powders with larger particles. This holds also true when relatively finer powders are used, also containing CaHPO4, are used. In both the latter cases products with coarser microstructures and/or significant amount of ß-TCP, as a result of hydroxyapatite decomposition, are obtained. Optical, chemical resistance and mechanical properties of the resulting dense materials are correspondingly deteriorated.