Robocasting of complex structural ceramics
Name: Qiaosong Cai
Sponsor: CASC Industrial Consortium
Robocasting is a distinct additive manufacturing technique that can be used to print complex structural ceramics. In robocasting, inks are extruded out through a nozzle to build 3D objects layer by layer. By using colloidal inks, hydrogel inks, emulsion-based inks or foam gel inks, dense or porous ceramics can be printed by robocasting.
With the aim to expand the applications of structural ceramics, a novel complex structure which is called core structure is designed. This structure is achieved by co-extrusion of two different kinds of inks.One of the concepts is printing electronic conductive metal fibres shielded with dense ceramic shells. Another concept is producing filaments with porous centre and dense shell with a potential application of heat exchange.The inks for dense shells and metal fibres are prepared by using Pluronic solutions as the particle carries. This kind of hydrogel ink is sensitive to the temperature and has a suitable rheology for robocasting. The porous inks used are emulsion-based inks in which the macroscopic shape and microscopic porosity of the objects can be controlled easily.