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Open-celled ceramic structures – replicated, printed or both?

Wednesday (07.10.2020)
13:40 - 14:00

Open-celled ceramic structures are of special interest for filtration, catalytic reactions, reforming, and combustion in porous media, heat exchange or absorption. Therefore, they have to be characterized by an optimal combination of structural and physical properties – typically adjusted within narrow limits. Up to now, those structures are mainly prepared by the replica process based on polymeric foam templates. However, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies open new fields in terms of design and application, and are – based on the ongoing development – meanwhile utilisable for various polymeric, metallic and ceramic materials.

In contrast to statistically grown cellular structures from the replication of polymeric foams, AM allows the repetition of exact copies of the same cell structure as often as required, which significantly simplifies the analysis and control of the physical and chemical processes inside, since the geometry remains constant even over a large number of pieces. Another added value is the possibility to adjust and vary the geometry and number of pores within one component. In this way, optimal properties (such as activity, pressure loss, heat transfer, mechanical behaviour) can be adjusted and, as a consequence, allow a miniaturisation.

For the realization of such modified open-celled ceramic structures based on AM, two strategies can be pursued. On the one hand the structures can be manufactured directly by AM processes for ceramic technologies (CerAMfacturing). Alternatively, polymeric templates can be produced by AM, which are then transformed into ceramic structures using the replica method (CerAM Replica).

In this presentation an overview and comparison of open-celled ceramic structures, especially replicated foams, cerAMfactured foams and CerAM Replica structures will be given. This includes selected structural and physical properties, as well as technological chances and limits. In particular, the role of the specific surface area, the pressure drop, the diameter and length of structural elements will be taken into account. Based on this review, possible fields of implementation will be discussed, including potential large scale applications.

Dr.-Ing. Alexander Füssel
Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS
Additional Authors:
  • Uwe Scheithauer
    Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS
  • Dr. Daniela Haase
    Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS
  • Jörg Adler
    Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS