Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics and Composites
Name: Ezra Feilden-Irving
Supervisors: Dr Finn Giuliani, Prof Eduardo Saiz and Dr Luc Vandeperre
Sponsor: CASC Industrial Consortium
Additive manufacturing is reasonably well established for the production of conventional ceramic parts with complex geometries, but little attention has been given to more exotic ceramics and ceramic composites. It is highly desirable to print a number of these materials, as many of their applications require short production runs of small batches of parts. In the present work we use a 3D printing technique known as robocasting, which consists of continuous extrusion of pastes, to print a range of ceramic materials, ceramic matrix composites, and polymer matrix composite parts. The shear forces in the nozzle during printing can be tuned to give highly textured microstructures when the paste consists of anisotropic particles (such as short fibres, platelets), which heavily effect the strength, toughness and other mechanical properties of the materials. These have been measured using a new in-situ SEM DCB method, and compared to conventionally produced material.
Figure 1. A pair of ceramic composite parts produced by robocasting, consisting of a network of highly aligned Al2O3 platelets infiltrated with epoxy.