Published on 27 March 2014
As part of a recent collaborative project, TWI produced a ceramic demonstrator by the laser fusion of ceramic particles. This demonstrator, manufactured from alumina powder, has high density with no evident voids or cracks even when viewed under optical microscopy
Small-size ceramic parts are difficult to produce and mould by conventional sintering methods (eg using furnaces). As a result this work is directed towards exploitation in electronics and medical applications where we could potentially offer new ways to manufacture dental and orthopaedic products. Although alumina has been chosen for the initial study, the technique is expected to be equally applicable to a range of other technical ceramics, providing a new way to rapidly manufacture precision products.
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Framework 7 Programme.