Experimental studying on development of slurry-layer casting system for additive manufacturing of ceramics
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Compared with powder-based process of additive manufacturing, slurry-based process can fabricate the ceramic components with better green density by casting thinner layers to improve the step effect. The main objective of this study is to develop a reliable slurry-layer casting system for building ceramic green parts. A premetered slurry-feeding mechanism was built to steadily supply the slurry and prevented the ripples on the layer from pulsation. Based on the techniques of slot-die coating and tape casting, a novel coater including a coat hanger distribution chamber and a doctor blade was designed and built to observe the distribution of the specified slurry and verify the feasibility of the slurry-layer casting. The experiment results revealed the distribution chamber with a suitable coat hanger angle that can uniformly deliver the slurry to the lips of the coater. The premetered coating method can simplify the process variables involved in the casting process. The slurry feeder exerts a considerable force on the slurry to overcome the influence of the viscosity. Sawtooth effect in the slurry-layer casting was observed and eliminated through the process of slurry preloading. Furthermore, an online coater cleanup device, which possesses the features of simple structure and high efficiency of residual slurry removal, was proposed. For the slurry with different formation used in the additive manufacturing of ceramic products, this study can be a pattern to build a reliable slurry-layer casting system with the principle of simple design, low cost, and easy cleanup.
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing Ceramic Slot-die coating Tape casting Slurry layer Sawtooth Step effect
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