Gelcasting of dense and porous ceramics by using a natural gelatine
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An improved gel-casting procedure was successfully exploited to produce porous ceramic bodies having controlled porosity features in terms of mean pore size, total pore volume as well as pore geometry. The gel-casting process in which a natural gelatine for food industry is used as gelling agent was firstly set-up to prepare dense alumina and zirconia components. Then, commercial PE spheres, sieved to select proper dimensional ranges, were added to the starting slurries as pore-forming agent. Both alumina and zirconia porous bodies were then produced, having a porosity ranging between 40 and 50 vol%. The fired components were characterised by spherical pores surrounded by highly dense ceramic walls and struts, having a homogeneous and fine microstructure. Their mean pore size was directly dependent on the sieved fraction of the starting PE spheres selected as pore-forming phase.