Additive manufacturing of non plastic porcelain material by direct writing and freeze casting.
Two direct consolidation methods usually used for advanced ceramics have been combined in this project in order to develop a novel fabrication route for traditional ceramics. Specifically the method used is based on the Additive Manufacturing extrusion process using direct writing of high solid loading ceramic pastes and then freeze-casting to solidify the deposited material. This novel fabrication method, for which a patent has been granted, has been christened “Direct Writing Freeze-Casting” (DWFC). Although the DWFC process is the subject of investigation by other researchers for a range of different applications, including the production of medical implants with alumina, the research presented in this thesis focuses on its use in the manufacture of white wares, giftware, and applied arts and crafts in general. This new system will provide designers, potters, artists, craft makers and manufacturers with a flexible and automated way of manufacturing porcelain objects. One of the major challenges to be overcome to exploit the DWFC process is the development of suitable slurry material formulations. Initial trials demonstrated that it is not possible to use conventional clay based porcelain materials with a platelet shaped microstructure which inhibits freeze casting. In this thesis the development and characterisation of non plastic porcelain slurry, based on substitution of kaolin (clay) with a calcined clay material (molochite), which can be processed using this new method is presented. The new non plastic porcelain formulation, which has a high solid load of 75.47% wt., has been subjected to detailed analysis to assess its suitability at each stage of the process; extrusion, freeze-casting (solidification) and firing.
- PhD