Ceramic 3D printing is the new field of study for laboratories specialized in ceramic material analysis. Indeed, these institutions go over each new shaping process with a fine tooth comb in order to create knowledge.
The CERAMATHS-DMP (Dépatement Matériaux et Procédés) ex LMCPA (Laboratoire des Matériaux Céramiques et Procédés Associés) of UPHF (Université Polytechniques Haut de France), is one of such laboratories: it aims to analyse technical ceramics applied to medical and sustainable development fields. Thus, the laboratory studies Zetamix filaments including zirconia and alumina filaments and takes this opportunity to use them to produce consumables and others devices in relation with thir researches.
One of the most common tests when ceramics are studied is the thermogravimetric analysis. It consists in continuously measuring the mass loss of a material during any thermal treatment. To carry out this analysis, materials are placed in an alumina crucible. However, due to its small size and the technical nature of this ceramic, this part is expensive to produce. Moreover, it has a limited number of uses due to the risk of pollution from the tested samples, thus, requires a precise stock management to avoid interruption in testing. For all these reasons, the LMPCA chose to insource the production of these parts thanks to Zetamix in order to reduce their costs and to improve the management of their stocks.
Pictures below: left picture : Regular crucible polluted by cobalt, Right picture : Zetamix crucible
In the same vein of simplifying the stock management, the CERAMATHS-DMP (ex LMPCA) also produces consumables used for dilatometry. Dilatometers are used to calculate the shrinkage of a part in real time during the sintering process. A contact probe maintained by a spring touches a cylindrical sample. The spring unwinds as the part undergoes a shrinkage, and the shrinkage will therefore be calculated by the movements of the contact probe. However, the high temperatures used during the sintering process can deform or break the sample holder and the probe over time. To avoid any measurement error, the laboratory regularly replaces these consumables.
CERAMATHS-DMP (ex LMPCA) counts on Zetamix technology to insource the production of these parts, which allows not only to simplify the providing chain and reduce costs, but also to customize parts if needed.
Pictures below: left picture Regular dilatometer consumables, Right picture : Zetamix dilatometer consumables
Handling ceramic inevitably implies high temperature, which in turn implies ceramic equipments such as crucibles. Because Zetamix allows to get this kind of parts, CERAMATHS-DMP (ex LMPCA) chose our solution to reshape its providing chain toward a cheaper and more flexible system.