Ceramic matrix composites (CMC)s are a group of structural ceramics that have uniquely favourable properties useful for manufacturing high temperature structures. CMCs are traditional manufactured by embedding ceramic microfibres into a polymer matrix, which are subsequently heat treated. However, in comparison with alloys and high temperature polymers, CMCs are highly difficult to process, particularly into complex geometries. This is because they cannot be cast or easily machined. Flaws, such as porosity and inhomogeneity introduced during processing, govern the strength because they initiate cracks in service. In contrast to metals, brittle ceramics have limited ability to resist fracture. This processing challenge has inhibited our ability to take advantage of ceramics’ impressive properties, including - high temperature capability, environmental resistance, and high ultrahigh strength. Vexon research will focus on developing the use of a revolutionary new 3D ceramic printing technology. This will be used to fabricate advanced ultra-high temperature CMC blade components.
Work is being carried out which will harness and optimise the 3D printing process to ensure that the CMC structures fabricated are fully dense. The main challenge will be in producing structures which have no porosity or surface cracks.
During our research, preceramic polymers are initially being studied to synthesise ceramic fibres and to densify CMCs by infiltration. In order to achieve this, 3D photo-lithography printing will be investigated, optimised and experimented with to form a 3D structure. Here investigative work will harness polymerisation inhibitors and UV absorbers, which are added to the photocurable resin in order to formulate and precisely confine polymerisation. This will minimise light scatter to maintain high fidelity in the features of the printed part, layer-by-layer to build up a turbine blade structure, which need to be sub 10µm in resolution.contact us
Vexon 3D Technologies manufacture numerous components made from advanced materials, including ceramics, composites, biomaterials, high-performance alloys and printed electronics. We focus of the fabrication of electronics technologies, advanced structural materials and 3D printing in healthcare applications. We work across many different industrial sectors, including healthcare, aerospace and engineering.
Vexon has developed and manufactured components and structures for global customers across the world. If you would like to use our manufacturing services, then please get in touch with us. We are glad to help.
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