Research objectives and content The objective is to combine the following areas of expertise in ceramic injection moulding: i) control over the solidification stage to eliminate defects in large sections (Brunel University) ii) catalytic removal of organic vehicle below its melting point (BASF) Put together, these two approaches pave the way for the direct injection moulding of large section ceramic mouldings; an achievement that presently eludes the industry worldwide. The BASF process allows the removal of organic vehicle in the solid state by a shrinking unreacted core mechanism. This will be modelled to deduce reaction rate constants and effective diffusion coefficients which will be compared with theoretical values in order to deduce the gas pressure in a large fine particle assembly during binder removal. The moulding techniques which will be applied allow the solidification process to be controlled so that shrinkage voids and cracks can be prevented. Taken on their own, neither individual approach can arrive at a final sintered large section ceramic moulding but taken together the possibilities are considerable. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
This programme involves a very wide experimental and theoretical base incorporating ceramic science, polymer science, injection moulding, heat transfer, characterisation of defects, reaction kinetics and gas transport. It requires the student to be adventurous in the acquisition of wide ranging skills. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22) This project is a collaboration between Brunel University and BASF and the initiative or it came from the industry. It involves very careful experimental design to address the aetiology of defects coupled with the systematic control of intervention to the solidification stage of injection moulding. Taken together with the mathematical modelling of gas transport the work is intended to identify conditions for the defect-free moulding of thick ceramic sections.