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                                         Information @ a Glance
General
  • Gelcasting is a forming process similar to slip casting for making complex-shaped parts. In gelcasting, a slip of ceramic powders in a solution of organic monomers, is poured into a mold and is polymerized forming a strong, crosslinked solvent-polymer gel filled with the ceramic powder.
  • Gelcasting produces large, complex-shaped parts that are strong enough to be machined, if necessary, before firing. The process is simple, economical, and uses conventional equipment.

Process

  • Gelcasting is a highly versatile fabrication process. It has been used to make parts ranging in size from <1 g to >6 kg. Complex shapes with thin sections as small as 0.2 mm have been gelcast. Conversely, large rods up to 4 inches in diameter have been made.
  • Gelcasting has been demonstrated in most of the major ceramic systems such as alumina, aluminum nitride, boron carbide, ferrites, silicon, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, zinc oxide, and zirconia as well as some of the more obscure ones such as cerium oxide, europium oxide, hydroxylapatite, and tin-doped indium oxide.

Technology

  • Gelcasting has also been successfully used inmaking highly porous ceramics by direct foaming tech-niques . The foamed gelcasting suspen-sions are cast to form net shape porous ceramic shapes.
  • Powder Injection Moulding (PIM) is a well-established forming technique for ceramics, particularly suited to the production of complex shapes.
  • Direct consolidation techniques have the potential to maintain in the green state, the high degree of homogeneity achieved in the slurry, while overcoming the problems encountered in traditional wet and paste processing methods.

Application

  • Highly porous Gel-casting ceramics are used in medical applications.
  • Transparent submicrometer grains alumina are formed by gel casting using agar as gelling.
  • Porous Gelcast ceramics for Bone Repair Implants.
  • Direct Gel-Casting of Zirconia for Dental Application.
     

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