The sintering process has been used since the invention of ceramics and is continually being empirically refined. While the burning of porcelain is one of the oldest areas of application, sintered iron became increasingly important due to the lack of copper during the Second World War. Systematic research into the sintering process, however, only began in the 1950s, when companies began to manufacture metal components from powder moldings. The knowledge gained was then transferred to the handling of high-performance ceramics. Since the invention of sintering technology in the early 1990s, the sintering process has also been known as laser sintering (LS) because at that time all systems used a laser.