Ceramic 3D Printing (3D-CSL)

TA&T has modified existing 3D printing technologies, such as stereolithography, to produce ceramic parts. Photocurable resins filled with high levels of ceramic powder are used in place of traditional 3D printing materials. The Ceramic 3D Printed parts are fired to remove the photocurable resin binder and achieve the desired ceramic properties resulting in fully functional products.

 

TA&T's Ceramic 3D Printing offers the following advantages over traditional ceramic forming methods:

  • Eliminates the need for tooling and associated lead times and costs
  • Enhances design freedom – eliminates design constraints associated with molding or machining
  • Enables rapid design iterations during engineering phase
  • Parallel fabrication of multiple designs
  • Low cost design upgrades during production
  • Allows complex assemblies to be built as monolithic structures
  • Reduces part count, assembly & joining steps

A white paper outlining the benefits of 3D-CSL, with a case study, is available.

 

1cslprocess

 The 3D-CSL additive building process

 

Fine Features, High Resolution, and Intricate Geometry: The fine laser beam and the automated, layer-by-layer build approach of stereolithography enables ceramic parts with a high level of detail (fine features and complex geometry) that cannot be produced using conventional molding or machining methods.

 

Finest Feature (hole/post
diameter, wall or slot width)
0.008" (200 microns)
Hole/Slot Aspect Ratio At least 100:1
Wall/Post Aspect Ratio At least 20:1
Maximum Part Size 10" x 10" x 10"
Typical Part Size 0.1" to 5"




Material Options


Material Status Properties Example Applications
Alumina Available Dense, hermetic, high strength and hardness
excellent electrical properties (voltage
standoff, low loss vs. frequency), biocompatible
Electrical isolators, ceramic coldplate
for power electronic cooling, heating
element fixtures, surgical instruments
Silica Available Porous, low conductivity, dimensionally stable
to high temperature, low thermal expansion
Investment casting cores and molds
Zirconia Under
Development
Dense, hermetic, high strength and toughness,
biocompatible, thermal expansion match to
structural metals
Dental restorations and appliances,
fuel cell components, structural
ceramics
Silicon
Nitride
Under
Development
Dense, hermetic, very high strength and
toughness, excellent high temperature
strength, high thermal shock resistance
High temperature propulsion
components, foundary components

Aluminum
Nitride

Under
Development

Dense, hermetic, high strength, high thermal
conductivity, low thermal expansion,
excellent electrical properties (voltage
standoff, low loss vs. frequency)
Substrate/coldplate for power
electronics and RF power amplifiers
Glass Ceramic
(LTCC)

Under
Development

Dense, hermetic, moderate thermal expansion,
excellent electrical properties (voltage
standoff, low loss vs. frequency), Co-fireable
with silver and gold conductor inks/pastes
Substrates for electronics packaging



Ta&T news

TA&T Part of Team to Improve EMP Protection

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)/SCC announces the beginning of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with Instant Access Networks, LLC (IAN) and its subcontractors as of March 28, 2016 entitled, “Accelerating Society-wide EMP Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Micro-grids”. DTRA’s request for proposals (RFP) was an invitation to small businesses to participate in a commercial R&D program to create EMP protected micro grids for critical infrastructure needed both on and off military bases and other defense critical infrastructure.  The need was explained by DTRA as follows: “An electromagnetic (EM) attack (nuclear electromagnetic pulse [EMP] or non-nuclear EMP [e.g., high-power microwave, HPM]) has the potential to degrade or shut down portions of the electric power grid important to the DoD….  Restoring the commercial grid from the still functioning regions may not be possible or could take weeks or months.” 

 

A key task on this contract is to demonstrate how to accelerate the adoption of EMP-protected critical infrastructure and microgrids among civilian institutions that need to operate in island mode during a prolonged power outage.   These critical suppliers to military bases include water utilities, hospitals, and emergency communications.  The final report would include proposals for additional research in the improvement of component technologies that comprise an EMP-protected microgrid such as EMP shielding, energy generation, energy storage and energy savings technology.  Those improvements can lead to performance and cost advantages that could make these microgrids competitive with grid provided power in some areas of the country and more easily funded in every location.

 

IAN set its own goal to gather collaborators who will fund EMP protected microgrids for water utilities, hospitals and emergency operations centers so that they don’t have to find funds out of their capital budgets.  Fairfax Water, a subcontractor to IAN in this contract, is a great example because of its critical role to many defense critical infrastructure applications in the national capital region and because of the attractive electricity rates it enjoys.  Fairfax Water supplies Fort Belvoir and the surrounding areas with 163 million gallons of water per day.  Though Fairfax Water  lies outside the base, it is essential for base operations but likely to be vulnerable to  EMP because of its dependence on civilian power grids that are not protected from EMP even though the local utility in this instance is otherwise extremely reliable.  Protecting civilian infrastructure such as Fairfax Water is just as important as protecting the critical applications on the base.

 

IAN developed EMP-protected microgrids that included solar, wind and diesel power generation and control rooms independently tested to exceed military standards for EMP by 1000 fold.  IAN subcontractors include Technology Assessment and Transfer (TA&T), a materials science R&D firm that will provide technical assistance on electromagnetic shielding materials and components of energy storage systems; DC Fusion/ Power Analytics that will provide support for direct current microgrids and modeling software for the design and management of microgrids; Jaxon Engineering and Maintenance who will provide EMP testing support and EMP shielding manufacturing guidance; and Fairfax Water, who will provide water utility management guidance.

Corporate Headquarters

133 Defense Hwy, Suite 212
Annapolis, MD 21401
Ph: 410.224.3710
Fx: 410.224.4678
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Dr. Larry Fehrenbacher, President
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Sharon Fehrenbacher, CEO
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Research & Manufacturing Facilities

Advanced Ceramics & Coatings
3D Printing of Ceramics
Thermal Management

1110 Benfield Blvd., Suite Q
Millersville, MD 21108
410-987-3435
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Spinel & Optical Ceramics
215 Najoles Road
Millersville, MD 21108

410-987-1656
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Memberships and Certifications

U.S. Small Business Administration certified
Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)

Alliance Member of the National Center
for Defence Manufacturing and Machining

Member of the Electro-Optics Alliance