Despite the high level of maturity of the ceramics sector in Europe, industrial production still relies heavily on empirically determined processes that are often poorly understood and difficult to control. Not only does this affect product quality and functionality, it also results in excess energy consumption and waste production. Constitutive modelling describing how specific materials respond to external loads is one of the most intensely researched fields in solid mechanics as it is critical to a knowledge-based solution of practical engineering problems. Scientists initiated the INTERCER2 (Modelling and optimal design of ceramic structures with defects and imperfect interfaces) project to describe the formation of ceramic products from powders. One project outcome is a reliable numerical simulation tool for designing industrial ceramic pieces starting from powder blending and then cold compaction and sintering at elevated temperatures. In particular, the new software tool allows model residual stress and strain, the density distribution inside the ceramic piece and the spring-back effect that affects the shape of the finished part. Except for ceramic models, scientists also developed similar algorithms for modelling and analysis of rocks, concrete and soil that are freely available online to the public. In addition, promising results were obtained using ceramic fillers with piezoelectric properties for energy harvesting. INTERCER2's new tool promises important impact on ceramic process optimisation, reducing energy, production costs and consumption of raw materials, while also positively influencing industrial competitiveness.
Ceramic structures, constitutive modelling, INTERCER2, simulation tool