Fabrication of Cellular Cordierite Performs via Binder Jetting
Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) combine two dissimilar materials – a metal as the matrix and a ceramic as the charge or insert to provide unique properties, e.g. low density, high specific strength, high specific modulus, and wear resistance. The ceramic inserts in these composite materials are limited to ceramic fibers and open cell stochastic ceramic foams due to geometric constraints imposed by traditional manufacturing processes. The geometric design freedom offered by Additive Manufacturing (AM) could enable a designer to realize ceramic preforms with complex cellular geometries that are designed to achieve multiple functions (e.g., low mass and increased stiffness). The goal of this work is to explore the use of Binder Jetting as a means of fabricating cordierite parts of designed mesostructure for use as ceramic preforms for MMCs. In this paper, the authors describe their exploration of the appropriate printing process parameters and post-process sintering parameters that enable successful fabrication of complex cordierite artifacts. Measurements of bulk density, linear shrinkage, porosity, and x-ray diffraction are conducted on pre- and post-sintered printed cordierite structures.