No material leak, large-scale (even roll-to-roll), and mold-free near net-shaping of advanced ceramics is possible
OZHAN A. 1, AREL I. 1, AY A. 1, AKBULUT O. 1
1 Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey
In product design, when we need long-term use, high thermal stability, high strength, and resistance to chemicals, we usually end up in a materials selection region that is covered by ceramics. On the other hand, these properties that single out ceramics for "extreme applications" are obstacles to conventional manufacturing methods, and most of the time, the uncomfortable outcome is settling for either a sub-optimal material or shape. At present, we do not have cost- and energy-effective, standard processing routes for ceramics that utilize current setups for rapid prototyping, and manufacturing in low/high numbers. There is a clear need for alternative methods that are specifically designed for ceramics.
We generate self-standing doughs of advanced ceramics that can be shaped by hand, and via traditional and laser machining at the green state. We design particle-specific polymeric additives that homogeneously coagulate ceramic suspensions through polymer bridging, imparting clay-like rheology to the suspensions of zirconia, alumina, magnesia, and many other technologically relevant ceramic systems. Starting from a self-standing structure that can withstand machining forces enables the exploitation of existing setups for the machining of metals. The additive content in these formulations is less than 2 wt. %; the formulation can be reused, and the products reach 99.5–99.9% of the theoretical density after sintering. Large-scale imprinting and injection molding are also applicable. This “no-material leak” route offers an unprecedented, cost-effective scheme for mass and low-number production of ceramics.
Roll-to-roll processing: https://vimeo.com/776127399