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Freeform Extrusion Fabrication Of Advanced Ceramics And Ceramic-Based Composites, Wenbin Li
"Ceramic On-Demand Extrusion (CODE) is a recently developed freeform extrusion fabrication process for producing dense ceramic components from single and multiple constituents. In this process, aqueous paste of ceramic particles with a very low binder content ( < 1 vol%) is extruded through a moving nozzle to print each layer sequentially. Once one layer is printed, it is surrounded by oil to prevent undesirable water evaporation from the perimeters of the part. The oil level is regulated just below the topmost layer of the part being fabricated. Infrared radiation is then applied to uniformly and partially dry the top layer so that the yield stress of the paste increases to avoid part deformation. By repeating the above steps, the part is printed in a layer-wise fashion, followed by post-processing. Paste extrusion precision of different extrusion mechanisms was compared and analyzed, with an auger extruder determined to be the most suitable paste extruder for the CODE system. A novel fabrication system was developed based on a motion gantry, auger extruders, and peripheral devices. Sample specimens were then produced from 3 mol% yttria stabilized zirconia using this fabrication system, and their properties, including density, flexural strength, Young's modulus, Weibull modulus, fracture toughness, and hardness were measured. The results indicated that superior mechanical properties were achieved by the CODE process among all the additive manufacturing processes. Further development was made on the CODE process to fabricate ceramic components that have external/internal features such as overhangs by using fugitive support material. Finally, ceramic composites with functionally graded materials (FGMs) were fabricated by the CODE process using a dynamic mixing device"--Abstract, page iv.