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Turkey based university is seeking industrial partnerships with ceramic manufacturing, electronics, defense, aviation, automotive sector for its laser machining of advanced ceramic dough formation methodology(Ceramic4.0)

Country of Origin: Turkey
Reference Number: TOTR20211117001
Publication Date: 17 November 2021


Turkey based university has developed a new advanced ceramic dough formation methodology by polymer bridging through coagulation for rapid prototyping. Translation of ceramics manufacturing to Industry 4.0 significantly lags behind other materials. Building upon the current framework of EFPF (European Factory Platform), the university generated automated route for the green machining of yttria-stabilized zirconia as a forefront showcase for the integration of high-performance ceramics to EFPF.


Green machining is a rapid and cost-effective method for near-net fabrication of ceramics. Compared to brittle sintered parts, green bodies necessitate much lower forces, are less prone to cracking, and do not lead to tool wear. Green bodies that can withstand ductile deformation during machining are formed through cold isostatic pressing (CIP) gel casting, and protein coagulation. CIP realizes machinable green bodies by compacting ceramic particles and binders under pressure. This method requires elastomeric molds to hold the formulation and a set up to apply isostatic pressure, mostly via i) immersion of the mold into a water bath (wet bag) and pressurizing the system or ii) compressing the mold. On the other hand, gel casting eliminates the need for a mold and a setup and generates a chemically or physically crosslinked polymer matrix around ceramic particles that is later removed during sintering. However, the toxicity of the polymer of choice, poly(acrylamide), prevents the wide adaptation of this method. While other materials, such as cellulose derivatives, are suggested, there is still a need for mixing the particles and network-forming materials in ball milling and sustaining a controlled environment. Protein coagulation requires the use of binding materials (e.g., egg white and ovalbumin) up to 20 vol. %. All of these binder systems involve the optimization of a compositional formulation of multiple chemicals (e.g., binders, dispersants, and coagulants 5−20%, and gel casting monomers, 15−30%) and various steps to produce green bodies with uniform shrinking during and after sintering. An easy-to-implement benchtop process that does not comprise numerous steps, a controlled environment, and special equipment will significantly contribute to the rapid embodiment of complex ceramic objects.

The technology (Ceramic 4.0) is about laser machining of advanced ceramics at the green state. Ceramics 4.0 is a research initiative supported by the European Factory Platform that aims at the automation of green machining to enable mold-free fabrication and rapid prototyping of high performance ceramics. It builds upon the experience in material formulation, rheology and modelling and development of machining processes. This methodology is an inclusive, barrier-free, not-for profit environment set to drive innovation and create a commercial impact in the field of advanced ceramics.

In the laboratory, in a few easy to implement steps, nano-sized yttria-stabilized zirconia ceramic dough could be achieved. Thereafter, it was used in its dough form when it is semi-dry at a specific moisture content. All steps were carried out at room temperature, the processing times were included in parentheses for each step. The steps showed that the production is facile, time- and cost-efficient, and can be easily adapted/modified to fit desired needs. The entire operation was carried out in under 48 hours.

The university is seeking partnerships with companies have proven experience and knowledge to manufacture advanced or structural ceramics or apply them to their ceramic filters, thermocouple shielding, high temperature insulators or armors under license agreement, manufacturing or a commercial agreement with technical assistance.


Advantages and Innovations

The proposed technology allows
- Enabling custom-designs and rapid prototyping of ceramic objects.
- Offering process monitoring and machining process datasets for green machining.
- Access to open-source tool path computation module for generation and correction of 3-dimensional ceramic milling paths.
- Access to materials-based solutions to green machining through databases and easy-to-implement materials formulations.

Also it has some economic, societal, and environmental impacts:

- The technology put forward an easy-to-implement, benchtop, and cost-effective method that does not require numerous chemicals or various steps throughout the process.

- Through digitalization, a holistic manufacturing approach are being established and the consecutive states of green machining of ceramics are connected in a module that can be deployed on the EFPF platform. This approach will significantly reduce the testing time on custom-based designs, up to 70%, that at present rely on "trial and error" or "one-time variable" methods.

- It will be possible to fabricating custom ceramic parts at a reduced price and develop data-driven processing methods to enhance the quality of parts.

None of the industrial and academic literature reports 100% recyclable green bodies. A true “green” process will be devised that works towards 100% recyclability to reduce environmental impact and pollution.

Stage Of Development

Prototype available for demonstration

Requested partner

- Type of partner sought and specific area of activity of the partner:

The partner sought is a company that has proven experience and knowledge to manufacture advanced or structural ceramics or apply them to their ceramic filters, thermocouple shielding, high temperature insulators or armors. In other words, a company which is a ceramic dough manufacturer or advanced/structural ceramic supplier or using this material. In such case, the cooperation will be formalized through a license agreement, manufacturing or a commercial agreement with technical assistance. The potential partners can be in ceramic manufacturing, electronics, defense, aviation, automotive sectors.

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