Material and methods Sample preparation Spark plasma sintering of the

Two methods were used to sinter pellets of the mechanosynthesised samples: conventional sintering and SPS. Conventional sintering was carried out by heating green pellets at atmospheric pressure in air. Thus, 400 mg of the nanometric powders prepared by mechanosynthesis for each composition were placed in ABT-869 hardened steel die, 6.35 mm diameter, and different uniaxial pressures applied to study the influence of green pellet density on the final densities obtained after heating. Sintering was followed by dilatometric analyses, placing the green pellets in a osteoclasts Linseis TMA model PT1000 in 100 cm3 min−1 airflow using 10 °C min−1 heating rate from 200 °C to 850 °C. All samples were heated to the same maximum temperature during 1 min to avoid possible decomposition or the formation of secondary phases. Densities of the green pellets were calculated geometrically by the equation ρ = mV−1, while the densities of sintered pellets were obtained by the Archimedes’ principle, using water as an immersion medium.