High temperature processing is essential for the preparation of apatites for biomaterials, lighting, waste removal and other applications. This requires a good understanding of the thermal stability and transitions upon heating. The most widely used is hydroxyapatite (HAp), but increasing interest is being directed to fluorapatite (FAp) and chlorapatite (ClAp). The structural modifications for substitutions are discussed to understand the temperature processing range for the different apatites. This is based on a review of the literature from the past few decades, together with recent research results. Apatite thermal stability is mainly determined by the stoichiometry (Ca/P ratio and structural substitutions) and the gas composition during heating. Thermal stability is lowered the most by a substitution of calcium and phosphate, leading to loss in phase stability at temperatures less than 900 degrees C. The anions in the hexagonal axis, OH in HAp, F in FAp and Cl in ClAp are the last to leave upon heating, and prevention of the loss of these groups ensures high temperature stability. The information discussed here will assist in understanding the changes of apatites during heating in calcination, sintering, hydrothermal processing, plasma spraying, flame pyrolysis, and other high-temperature processes.
Tonsuaadu, K., Gross, K. A., Pluduma, L., & Veiderma, M. (2012). A review on the thermal stability of calcium apatites. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 110(2), 647 - 659. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-011-1877-y