3D Printing Composite Ceramics with FDM and Sintering

IMTS

Share this Article

Left: pure zirconia; middle: zirconia/metal composite; right: pure metal

Additive manufacturing has rapidly become more advanced than it used to be, moving far beyond the days when components could only be 3D printed out of a single plastic or metal material. Now other materials, such as ceramics, can be 3D printed as well. Ceramics 3D printing has progressed quickly in the past few years, and ceramic materials with different properties can now be combined. A paper entitled “Hybridization of Materials and Processes by Additive Manufacturing” takes a look at the 3D printing of ceramics with different colors or pore structures, and even ceramics with stainless steel added.

In the study, the researchers chose two feedstock-based 3D printing methods for combining either porous and dense ceramic components, black and white zirconia or stainless steel and zirconia. For the first method, FFF 3D printing, a dual-nozzle 3D printer was used; the first print head was loaded with zirconia filament and the second was loaded with a 17-4PH stainless steel filament. The same parameters were used to print both materials, though the print head temperatures differed slightly.

Cuboid samples were 3D printed, alternating the materials every two or three layers. The samples were then debinded and sintered, leading to dense, well-bonded parts.

In another procedure, the researchers used thermoplastic 3D printing, which combines the advantages of FFF, robocasting and inkjet printing, using a dropwise deposition of a viscous thermoplastic material for building a ceramic component. This method has a number of advantages, including the following:

  • There are almost no restrictions concerning the applied powder material, because the consolidation of the droplets occurs by increasing the viscosity during cooling
  • Composite or multi-material objects can be printed by using two or more printing heads
  • By using a pure thermoplastic binder in one print head, support structures can be built up in parallel to the component
  • Completely dense ceramic components can be produced thanks to the high packing density in the green component
  • Small droplets enable a high resolution in critical volumes
  • Precise deposition of small droplets can be combined with fast jetting of molten suspensions

For their experiments the researchers prepared zirconia suspensions using nanoscale zirconia powder. To produce black and white components, another suspension was prepared using a TZ-Black powder. As a binder system, a mixture of paraffin and beeswax was used.

“The binder system and a dispersing agent were heated up to 100 °C and homogenized for 30 min in a heatable dissolver,” the researchers explain. “Then powder and if necessary pore forming agents (PFA) like polysaccharide were added and the suspensions were homogenized by stirring for 2 h at 100 °C.”

The samples were printed, debinded and sintered. After sintering, nearly dense and porous volumes were combined in one component. To illustrate the different porosities, the samples were placed in front of a light, with the more porous sections appearing darker.  Both approaches, FFF and thermoplastic 3D printing, allowed the researchers to create components with varied properties, whether that be material, porosity or color.

Authors of the paper include Tassilo Moritz, Uwe Scheithauer, Steven Weingarten, Johannes Abel, Robert Johne, Alexander Michaelis, Stefan Hampel and Santiago Cano Cano.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Briefs, April 20, 2024: Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium, Blow Molding, & More

EOS & AMCM Join Forces with University of Wolverhampton to Establish UK Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

Why Corrosive Resistant Materials Are Important to the Success of 3D Printing Across Industries

The adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) is accelerating across many major industries. As this technological shift unfolds, the importance of corrosion resistance has emerged as a challenge for 3D printing...

America Makes Announces IMPACT 2.0: $6.6M in New 3D Printing Funding

America Makes, the Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) based in Youngstown, Ohio, has announced IMPACT (Improvement in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis) 2.0, a project call which will...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: April 14, 2024

We’re starting off the week’s 3D printing webinars and events at ASTM AMCOE’s 11th Snapshot Workshop and MACH Exhibition. Stratasys continues its advanced training courses, SME is holding a virtual...

AMUK Welcomes Airframe Designs as British 3D Printing Industry Grows

While the UK is not the hub for 3D printer and materials manufacturers as other nations, the country continues to excel at the research, development, and application of additive manufacturing...