From semiconductor through to machinery, our CeraFab System 3D printers facilitate the serial production of demanding industrial applications. The production of parts that cannot be molded or otherwise fabricated has led to companies utilizing new designs for improving the function of products. Products with boosted functions and revenue-generating applications are produced with guaranteed consistency and quality.
High-efficient impeller for microturbines
Turbocharger rotors in silicon nitride are used to improve engine response. Using ceramic rotors rather than metal decreases the inertial force and consequently reduces delay. Additionally, these rotors are exposed to very hot gas and therefore must be durable under such conditions. Previously, intricate components were impossible to produce using silicon nitride due to the limitations of conventional machining methods. Today, the LCM technology facilitates the production of complex shaped impellers to boost the performances of microturbines.
Watch a video on thermal shock resistance test for a 3d printed silicon nitride component.
Revenue-generating nozzles for chip manufacturing
Alumina Systems GmbH produces customizable ceramic and metal-to-ceramic components for the semiconductor and medical industries. As well as employing conventional technologies, the company uses additive manufacturing to accelerate product innovations.
By using a function-oriented design, Alumina Systems GmbH developed a ceramic distribution ring for semiconductor chip coating which triples the production volume of chips compared to conventional solutions.
Today, the demand for value-driven applications is constantly increasing. 3D printing enables companies to develop revenue-generating products with high added value for their customers.
Read more on how to increase customer value with high-performance ceramic 3D printing.
A solution to conventional manufacturing for miniature components
3D printing facilitates the production of applications which require very small feature sizes, as well as needing a high degree of complexity and excellent surface quality. The printed materials can work at higher temperatures and pressures, as well as in corrosive and abrasive applications at precise tolerances. Some examples include micro-nozzles and valves with flow-optimized paths, miniature rotors and micro-milling tools, electronic applications such as complex and precise substrates, and medical sensors, instrumentation and surgical tools.
The production of highly complex and precise ceramic components in the millimetre and sub-millimetre range requires a technology which meets the demand of having a high degree of both accuracy and repeatability. Conventional technologies (such as milling, drilling, grinding and ceramic injection moulding) have limitations when it comes to very small or thin objects.
The LCM technology guarantees the highest level of dimensional control and the production of parts with features as small as 100 µm.
LCM technology allows the production of ceramic cores of outstanding quality. It offers a cost-efficient and fast production technology for investments casting of turbine engine components. LCM technology has been effectively utilized in the production of most recent casting core designs. These have multiple layers of cooling channels, a feature which can no longer be produced by conventional injection moulding. Furthermore, it delivers significantly faster time-to-market in combination with having a shorter product life cycle and bypasses the costly and laborious fabrication of molds required in injection moulding.
Casting cores for aeronautical turbine blades and industrial gas turbines
Lithoz’s LCM technology is a tried-and-trusted industrial production method for ceramic casting cores. Applications include cores for single crystals (SX), directionally solidified (DS) and equiax-cast (EX) super-alloy turbine blades and shells.
Cores with complex branching structures and fine trailing edges can now be produced quickly and economically with consistent dimensional accuracy and excellent surface finishing.
Ceramic casting cores with complex branching structures and trailing edges with thicknesses smaller than 200μm can now be produced with outstanding dimensional reproducibility and accuracy. LithaCore 450 has a very low rate of thermal expansion, a high porosity and outstanding surface quality (Ra < 3 μm), ensuring that internal channels in the final cast alloy have a smooth finish and good leachability. In addition, results from dimensional inspections performed on cores printed via LCM reveal maximum deviations of < 0.1 mm from the CAD model, which is within the expected dimensional compliance for casting core application. Since many companies have adjusted their processes to fit certain powder properties, Lithoz offers the possibility of adapting the LCM procedure to fit any customer powder. The cautious handling of sensitive information and strict adherence to confidentiality clauses is a matter of great importance to Lithoz.