Date of Award

6-2016

Degree Name

MS in Industrial Engineering

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Xuan Wang

Abstract

Processing of ceramics has always been difficult due to how hard and brittle the material is. Fused Deposition of Ceramics (FDC) is a method of additive manufacturing which allows ceramic parts to be built layer by layer, abetting more complex geometries and avoiding the potential to fracture seen with processes such as grinding and milling. In the process of FDC, a polymeric binder system is mixed with ceramic powder for the printing of the part and then burned out to leave a fully ceramic part. This experiment investigates a new combination of materials, zirconia and acrylic binder, optimizing the process of making the material into a filament conducive to the printer system and then performing trials with the filament in the printer to assess its feasibility. Statistical analysis was used to determine optimal parameter levels using response surface methodology to pinpoint the material composition and temperature yielding the highest quality filament. It was discovered that although the mixture had adequate melting characteristics to be liquefied and printed into a part, the binder system did not provide the stiffness required to act as a piston to be fed through the printer head. Further studies should be completed continuing the investigation of zirconia and acrylic binder, but with added components to increase strength and rigidity of the filament.

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