AVAILABLE MATERIALS FOR THE LCM PROCESS
Lithoz offers its customers various materials for the additive manufacturing of high-performance and bio-resorbable ceramics. Each raw material has been developed to perfectly suit Lithoz’s technology and to facilitate the production of high-quality parts.
LithaLox HP 500 and LithaLox 350 are a high-purity aluminum oxide (99.99 % and 99.8 % respectively). Alumina is one of the most important oxide ceramic materials and is characterized by high levels of hardness as well as good corrosion and temperature resistance. Components made from alumina are electrically insulating and puncture-proof and are therefore suitable for a wide range of applications, such as substrates in the electronics industry, thread guides in textile engineering, protection in thermal processes and many others.
LithaCon 3Y 210 and LithaCon 3Y 230 are a 3 mol% yttria stabilized zirconia. Zirconia is used for applications with extreme demands on the material. High-end metal forming, valves, bearings and cutting tools are some of the applications which benefit from the mechanical properties of zirconia. The biocompatibility of zirconia facilitates its use in medical applications, such as dental applications and as part of permanent implants.
LithaNit 770 is a Beta-SiAlON type ceramic. It exhibits superior material properties such as high strength, high toughness, thermal shock resistance and good chemical resistance to corrosion by many acids and alkalis.
LithaNit 770 has a wide range of applications including insulators, springs, impellers and more. Furthermore, it can be used for the medical engineering of permanent implants due to its osseointegrative potential and anti-infective properties.
MATERIALS FOR SPECIAL APPLICATIONS
TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE AS BONE-REPLACEMENT MATERIAL
LithaBone TCP 300 is a beta-tricalcium phosphate (ß-TCP) based ceramic. Tricalcium phosphate (TCP) exhibits excellent biocompatibility, bioresorbability and osteoconductivity, and is therefore a well-established material for bone replacement in regenerative medicine. Due to its properties, it is possible to manufacture patient-specific resorbable implants with defined pore structures and geometries using this material. During the healing phase, these implants will be resorbed by the body and replaced by native bone tissue, meaning that a second surgery for the removal of the implant is not necessary.
HYDROXYAPATITE AS BONE-REPLACEMENT MATERIAL
LithaBone HA 400 is based upon hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that forms the main component of bones. Due to its similarities to the inorganic components of bone, HA possesses excellent biocompatibility and osteoconductivity and has a number of potential applications as a bone substitute. In comparison to tricalcium phosphate, hydroxyapatite takes far more time to be absorbed into the body, therefore giving the body more time to heal. Using HA, we can manufacture patient-specific, bio-resorbable implants, which have defined pore structures and geometries. These implants will be reabsorbed by the body and will be replaced by native bone tissue, meaning that the implant does not need to be removed once the healing process is finished.
SILICA-BASED MATERIALS FOR CASTING CORES
LithaCore 450 is mainly based on silica with addition of alumina and zircon. It is used for the production of casting cores for investment casting. Typical applications include single crystal casting of turbine blades. LithaCore 450 is developed for the additive manufacturing of precise ceramic cores with fine details and high accuracy. Sintered ceramic cores made from LithaCore 450 have very low thermal dilatation up to 1500 °C, a high porosity, outstanding surface quality and a very good leachability.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR OPEN SYSTEM
With the LCM technology, Lithoz has created an open system through which many different ceramic materials can be handled. This provides the opportunity to process customer-specific powders without the need for any system modification, meaning that our LCM technology is suited for processing sinterable powders. In the past few years, we have successfully processed the following materials (amongst others) using the LCM-technology:
|Alumina toughened zirconia (ATZ)||Cordierite|
|Zirconia toughened alumina (ZTA)||Magnesia|
|Transparent ceramics||RF dielectric ceramics|
How lithography-based ceramic AM is expanding the opportunities for technical ceramics
The impact of Additive Manufacturing is today being felt far beyond the metal and plastics industry. This is particularly true in the world of technical ceramics, where processes such as Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing are opening up new markets for new applications but also supporting technologies such as Ceramic Injection Molding through the delivery of functional prototypes. In the following report Lithoz GmbH, reviews the process, its parallels with CIM, and the opportunities that it presents to the ceramics industry.