How ICMCB uses Zetamix : Replacing spare parts and on-demand crucibles

ICMCB (Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux) is a laboratory that conducts research on material science, solid-state chemistry, and molecular science. In this context, the laboratory works on ceramics produced by 3D printing technology, including Zetamix parts. Thus, ICMCB takes the opportunity to produce customized crucibles and complex spare parts in addition to the samples needed for their experiments.


Customized crucible


In order to simplify the sintering process, ICMCB started by producing a crucible that perfectly fits their tubular furnace. Due to temperature inconsistency along the length of the tube, it required sintering a small number of samples in the center of the furnace. Thus, sintering a batch of many samples was long and tedious. Moreover, because crucibles were too small to contain both the parts and the thermocouple, additional separate experiments were required using only a thermocouple in order to monitor the furnace temperature. Indeed, the lab had to launch two furnace runs with the same settings: one with the parts and one with the thermocouple.

Picture in te left : crucibles equipped with five chambers

Thus, ICMCB designed a crucible that can hold four samples and a thermocouple. Thanks to its complex shape, the new crucible is equipped with five chambers: a small one in the center and four bigger chambers surrounding it. Moreover, the crucible is equipped with a handle to make it more practical.


Pictures below: crucibles equipped with five chambers

Replacing a ceramic spare part in cutting edge device


Picture above: Zetamix spare parts

ICMCB also conducts X-Ray diffraction characterization under extreme temperatures up to 1600°C. However, there was a fracture of a ceramic part, which makes the connection between the thermocouple and the computer. Because this part cannot be purchase as a spare part, the laboratory does not have any other option than to buy a new device, which can cost at least 50,000 euros. Fortunately, thanks to Zetamix 3D printing, ICMCB was able to print the broken part using alumina and succeeded to maintain their research with the same machine.

Picture above: Zetamix connecting part in the X-Ray machine

In ICMCB, Zetamix filaments are not only used in research study, but also in solving many different operational issues. Thanks to this technology, the ICMCB team has improved the quality of their experiments and has made their process easier while saving money and time.