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DEVELOPMENT IN COST-EFFECTIVE FORMING OF DEFECT-FREE CERAMICS : EXTENSION OF PRESSURE SLIP-CASTING TO HIGH-PERFORMANCE MATERIALS

Objective


The study of the mechanism and kinetics of pressure slip casting of ceramic powders generated the wide spectrum of information, both qualitative and quantitative, concerning the preparation of suspensions, their rheological and casting behaviour, casting rates and green casts characteristics. Particular attention was payed to the suspensions with low and very low clay contents. On the basis of the obtained scientific and R&D results, and their own know-how in the specific fields, the industrial partners designed and manufactured the high pressure casting system, the corresponding porous moulds and Pilot Line programmed to perform the casting trials of full-size technical components. The extended Pilot Line casting trials of a complex shape component and a large area thin plate demonstrated an elevated potential to fabricate high quality ceramic products. It was repeatedly demonstrated that these can be produced with a high level of automation reducing the demand for tedious and repetitive jobs. At the same time the casting cycle is reduced of one order of magnitude when compared with traditional slip casting offering further economic advantages.
The aim of the research project is to develop the pressure slip casting and a suitable press for using this technique for shaping different starting materials to obtain components, e.g. sanitaryware, technical ceramic components and, possibly, composites. These components will be of large dimensions (>1m) and of complex shape with higher mechanical performances then conventional ones and technical characteristics conforming to actual production standards.

The achievement of the following concrete and verifiable objectives, compared to traditional slip casting, is expected:

A. Total casting time shortened, at least five or ten times;

B. Relative humidity of the body, after shaping and before drying, reduced from 15 % to 3+5 %

C. Near net shape components;

D.Reduced number of defects of green bodies;

E. Energy saving in the drying stage;

F. Whole production cycle shortened.

If these objectives will have been reached, the European ceramic industry will have available a powerful tool to increase its competitiveness on the international market and to get economic benefits.

The research activities include:

A. Laboratory study and experimentation of the pressure slip casting by using slips, preparated and optimized starting from different powders or mixtures, and suitable moulds developed ad hoc;

B. Design & development of the press for pressure slip casting and layout of Pilot Line in which the press can be installed;

C. Pilot Line experimentation, with both traditional and technical ceramics, and, possibly, with composites materials, in order to optimize the process as well as to verify the achievement of the above listed objectives.

The pressure slip casting technique developed will be qualified, in terms of conditions and costs of production, in order to assess the possibilities and conditions for industrialization.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Sacmi Cooperativa Meccanici Imola Scrl
Address
Via Martelli 26
40138 Imola Bologna
Italy

Participants (4)

Centro Ceramico di Bologna
Italy
Address
Via Martelli 26
40138 Bologna
INST DE CERAMICA Y VIDRIO
Spain
Address
Ctra. Valencia Km 24,300
28500 Arganda (Madrid)
MORGAN MATROC LTD
United Kingdom
Address
Bewdley Road
DY13 80R Stourport On Severn
NETHERLANDS ENERGY RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Netherlands
Address
P.o. Box 1
1755 ZG Petten