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