Since it was launched, the 3-D Printing technology has proven to be a marvelous piece of technology. And its applications are more than one can count. Recently scientists created super resistant ceramics with a 3-D printer.
It may not be something entirely new since scientists managed to synthesize ceramics using 3-D printing technologies some time ago. Despite the major breakthrough, the technology had a couple of limitations that made it not feasible for industrial use.
By using the old method, the scientists were, in fact, able to manufacture ceramics, material which are known for their high resistance to the heat, mechanical pressure, corrosion, and abrasion. When working with ceramics, the first thing you find out is, unlike plastic or metals, you cannot easily pour this material into specialized moulds. This means that through traditional means, ceramics cannot be moulded into complex shapes.
That’s where the scientists started from. Taking into account the difficulty of working with ceramics and the new 3-D printing techniques, a team of researchers devised a system which was capable of using printer filaments in order to synthesize ceramics. Although the method was successful into synthesizing ceramics, the process itself was slugging and the end product was very fragile.
A normal 3-D Printer uses filaments filled with material in order to create complex shapes. The printing head places layer upon layer of material, guided by a computer. For the shape to settle, the material is cooled down using a UV light.
Keeping these limitations in mind, doctor Tobias Schadler, from HRL labs and his team of material scientists, managed to create a device that is allegedly 1000 faster at creating complex ceramic shapes.
Scientists created super resistant ceramics with a 3-D printer by tinkering with the device’s printing capacity. Usually, ceramics can be created using very high temperatures. There are only a handful of 3-D printing devices out there that can achieve optimal temperature.
It would seem that Schadler and his team managed to find a way around these limitations and the results speak for themselves.
The experiment used common compounds in order to see if the new technique if the technique holds. The team used a vat made out of resin that contained silicon, carbon and oxygen. After completing the mould, the team used a UV light in order to harden the resin vat.
The processed resulted in honeycomb object, which measure 0.5 by 1 inch. The processed lasted only 60 seconds and according to their analysis, it would see that the ceramic had no cracks or porosities.