Principal investigator: Jung-Kun Lee

University: University of Pittsburgh

Industry partner: Du-Co Ceramics Company

Binder-jet printing (BJP) is a 3D printing technology currently designed for additive manufacturing (AM) of metals. However, BJP technology is not compatible with commonly used submicron size ceramic powders that promote high sinterability. While BJP is common for AM of metal powders that have relatively low sintering temperature, it is rarely used for ceramic materials. The hypothesis of this research is that well-designed granules in primary particle size, secondary particle size, and compositions will improve both flowability and sinterability of ceramics and allow for the AM of high-strength ceramics. The objective of this project is to develop the AM technique for the binder-jet printing of ceramics by combining the BJP and spray-dried granules. This new AM process will be applied to ceramics components that Du-Co Ceramics Company is developing for the application of sensors and filters. These ceramics components must have controlled internal pore channels to increase the contact area with ambiance. However, it is very difficult to dry-press such parts due to the intricate nature of the geometry of the pore channels. Outcomes of the proposed research will resolve such a problem by combining the binder jet printing and spray-dried granules.