Effects of Temperature on Aqueous Freeform Extrusion Fabrication

Li, Jie
Leu, Ming C.
Hilmas, Gregory E.
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University of Texas at Austin

An experimental study was conducted to investigate the effect of temperature on ceramic parts produced by paste extrusion based additive manufacturing followed by sintering. A computer-controlled gantry system equipped with a piston extruder was used to extrude aqueous alumina paste. The system includes a temperature control subsystem that allows for freeform extrusion fabrication inside a low-temperature (<0°C) chamber. It can also be used for fabricating parts on a hot plate at ambient or higher temperatures (≥20°C). Test specimens were fabricated from aqueous aluminum pastes at -20°C in the low-temperature chamber and also on the hot plate at 40°C. The minimum angles achievable by these two processes for part fabrication, without use of support material, were compared. Also compared were the relative density and mechanical properties of the parts obtained after sintering. Microstructures were examined via scanning electron microscopy in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the effect of fabrication temperature.