Room Temperature, Low Pressure, Less Toxic Ceramic Injected Molding Produces Stronger Complex Parts
Scientific Ceramic Engineering’s novel technology presents parts manufacturers with distinct advantages for ceramic injected molding.
Easier to use
This new technology takes advantage of the unique yield-pseudoplastic flow properties of greater than 50% aqueous ceramic suspensions. This formula also uses less than 5% by volume of a water-soluble binder. The binder provides low resistance flow through shear thinning, a non Newtonian fluid behavior. This enables low injection pressures and fill of detailed part geometry.
The shear rate of an alumina-binder suspension during forming is 4.20 s-1. This is significantly lower than traditional injection molding of 100 to 1000 s-1.
Less heating and cooling
The feedstock does not need to be heated and cooled before use, allowing quick preparation and machine changeover. The natural low viscosity means it takes less pressure to fill the mold— typically below 250 psi. A vibrator helps the solution flow evenly and without bubbles.
Stronger Green Parts
This technology leads to a stronger green stage. The green parts can be sanded with polishing papers ranging from 320, 400, 600 grit and/or cut with a slow speed diamond saw.
No Pressure needed for Sintering
Parts are sintered by slow rising temperatures without the need for any pressurizing. The bulk density of ~98% with less than 16% linear shrinkage matches or improves performance relative to traditional injection molding cores. It is also precise and repeatable enabling a six sigma designed controlled process.
ASTM C1323-10 testing gave the strength of the sintered parts a range from 230 to 275.3 for an overall maximum C-strength of 261 ± 57.6 MPa. This is comparable to standard injection molding but with lower costs and faster start-up times.
SCE uses a non-toxic, water-soluble binder. This binder has proven so safe, it’s commonly used in oral medicines, soaps, and surgical scrubs. No solvents are used to debinder. Slow heating in the sintering process removes the binder—no extra steps required.
Works with a Variety of Ceramics
The process and mixture can be applied in Alumina, Zirconium Boride, Boron Carbide, and Silicon Nitride. Efforts are in process to formulate Tungsten Carbide and Silicon Carbide.
Low Quantity Additively Manufactured Cores
SCE also provides additively manufactured cores for small run prototype needs, no molds, dies, or tooling required!