Laminated Object Manufacturing of Si3N4 With Enhanced Properties
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The potential to fabricate near net-shape ceramic components of intricate shape is attractive and offers considerable savings in cost and time. The laminated architecture inherent in many Rapid Prototyping techniques can be utilized to enhance material properties by providing weak interfaces at regular intervals, oriented microstructures, and functionally graded compositions. By design and control of these variables it is possible to enhance the strength, toughness and performance of components fabricated from structural ceramics. A range of oriented microstructural features have been investigated in Laminated Object Manufacturing of Si3N4 materials. Changes in the mechanical properties can be related to specific architectures and microstructural developments which took place during sintering.