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3-D Printed Ceramics, Strong And Flawless With New Technique

First Posted: Jan 07, 2016 01:21 PM EST
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A team of researchers have developed a new technique that can create strong and flawless 3-D printed ceramics, according to a study. The researchers' technique can create ceramics through the use of 3-D printing, where the material is strong and has a small tendency to crack. In addition, ceramic product can be fabricated into complex, curved and porous objects. Ceramic materials have numerous and intriguing features, which include high temperature stability, high strength and resistance to environmental effects.

Compared to polymers and some metals, ceramic particles do not fuse together when heat is applied. Many 3-D printing techniques for ceramics have a slow production rate and include additives that increase the material's tendency to crack. However, the researchers' new technique improves these typical setbacks, where they use silicon and oxygen-based polymers that, upon polymerization, trap the UV light so that additives are not required for the UV curing steps.

When the polymer is printed, the area is heated to a temperature, which burns off the oxygen atoms - this creates a high dense and strong silicon carbide product. The researchers used electron microscopy to test the final product, where they found no traces of porosity or surface cracks. The researchers also found that the ceramic material can withstand temperatures of 1,400 degrees Celsius (2552 degrees Fahrenheit) before any type of cracking or shrinkage could occur.

The researchers' new technique is paving the way for more efficient ceramic production processes, which have numerous applications.

The findings od this study were published in the journal Science.

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