Ever since the advent of 3D printing was introduced some years back, the world has had high hopes for it in becoming the thing of the future since it could effortlessly print complicated 3D structures to be used in real life applications and also cause minimum wastage of resources in the process.
Judging by the fact that a US laboratory has managed to 3D print a high-strength and high-temperature ceramic parts used in an airplane. It has been reported that the part can retain its high strength even at a temperature of 1700 degrees Celsius, something which the current parts used in an airplane are not even able to come close to, let alone achieve the sustaining resilience at that temperature.
Dr. Tobias Schaedler, the senior scientist at HRL Sensors and material laboratory, said: “Our team surmounted the challenges inherent in ceramics to develop an innovative material that has myriad applications in a variety of industries. The resulting material can withstand ultra-high temperatures more than 1700°C and exhibits strength ten times higher than similar materials”.
The current generation of ceramics is actually made through the process of sintering, which is changing and compacting an object to its solid state without reaching its melting point. Schaedler also added that it is tough to process ceramics in comparison to its metal and polymer counterparts since it cannot be machined or cast on any surface without putting some serious effort onto it.
As a result, the end work by casting ceramic on any other substance would be quite flawed: showing an undesirable shape, give way to pores in the final product and even impact the overall strength of the product. Thus, the process of sintering has only been able to yield a brittle product so far.
But this flaw in the ceramic to not be cast or molded into anything is about to change as researchers will now be able to create those parts which have all the known advantages of ceramics such as resistance to corrosion, light weight, great strength, but with added benefits of temperature resistance and even greater strength. Furthermore, due to their immense strength against chemicals and frictions, the military and aerospace industries have also been starting to consider to add 3D printed ceramic parts and builds in their future projects. Thus, one thing is certain: 3D printing is here to stay, and its applications will be far reaching for both business and consumers.