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CarCIM
Integration of Two-component Ceramic Injection Moulding for Large-scale Production of Novel Multifunctional Ceramic Components for Automotive and Railway Applications

The aim of the project is the integration of the two-component ceramic injection moulding (2C-CIM) as a low-cost and large series production technique into the development of complex shaped ceramic components for automotive and railway applications, offering a high degree of structural and functional integrity.

Tags: Multimodal

Background

During the last decades, ceramic manufacturers have proposed several alternative, high-performance ceramic engine parts to automotive producers. The most important benefits offered by ceramic materials over metallic ones are lower density, lower thermal expansion coefficient, superior mechanical resistance at elevate temperatures, higher wear resistance and chemical inertia. Future emission regulations require more effort towards a general friction loss reduction and the weight reduction of alternately moving engine parts contributes directly to an improvement in the engine’s efficiency.

The role of advanced ceramics in engineering structures largely depends on the possibility of reliable mass production of complex-shaped components at acceptably low costs. Because of the near-net-shape production and the economic efficiency of a large series, powder injection moulding (PIM) is the shaping technique of choice for metal/ceramic parts of complex geometry.

The co-injection moulding of two synthetic materials is applied to a great variety of automotive components. The ability to manufacture components to net-shape and surface engineer in a single manufacturing process by powder co-injection moulding should provide a further incentive for additional exploitation of this technique by generating new markets and providing more cost-effective manufacturing.

Objectives

The main goal of the project is the development of novel ceramic components with a high degree of functionality, longer life cycles and shorter production times, which can be easily implemented into automotive and railway systems. For achieving this main goal, the following objectives must be attained:

  • adaptation of powder surface properties to the requirements of feedstock production
  • development and supply of new feedstocks suitable for low/high pressure 2C-CIM and an environmentally friendly debinding process
  • development and supply of material combinations for co-debinding and co-sintering processes
  • using simulation techniques for a more flexible and cost-saving production of 2C-CIM parts enclosing simulation tools for the complete processing chain, i.e. tool design, injection moulding, debinding and co-sintering
  • developing and providing advanced debinding and sintering concepts for 2C-CIM parts;
  • improving tool making technologies for 2C-CIM tools with tight tolerances and high precision without reworking
  • development of high-throughput 2C-CIM processes for prototype multifunctional ceramic parts
  • introduction of new advanced ceramic components with complex shape and combined functionalities
  • development of prototype systems for testing the developed automotive parts.
2C-CIM testing component consisting of black and white zirconia
2C-CIM testing component consisting of black and white zirconia
Fraunhofer IKTS

Description of work

2C-CIM will allow the production of advanced ceramic products on a large scale with increased functionality and a high degree of complexity, but at a lower cost level in comparison to other shaping techniques. The reason is that ceramic materials offer the possibility to combine properties like electrical conductivity with electrical isolation, transparency with opacity, high toughness with extreme hardness and wear resistance, magnetic properties with non-magnetic properties, porosity with density, etc. Moreover, all these property combinations can be achieved in just one shaping step without additional joining processes by 2C-CIM. This project will launch 2C-CIM as a high-throughput production process for complex shaped ceramic components in Europe. As well as for automotive and railway applications, this new technology will be of enhanced interest for all branches requiring ceramic materials or property combinations as mentioned above, because novel products could be produced by using 2C-CIM which cannot be achieved today for technical or economical reasons. In this way 2C-CIM will reinforce the competitiveness of the European PIM industry and of many industrial banches which will be able to provide new or improved products.

Results

Four case studies related to automotive applications and to railway application will be carried out in this project: 1) ceramic braking pads for high-speed trains, 2) ceramic glow plug, 3) ceramic gear wheel, and 4) ceramic valve seat.

European automotive and railway industry will derive direct benefit from the project by gaining experience with the prototypes, which will be developed in the case studies, by material and feedstock combinations, which are adjusted to the requirements of the consumers, and from the complete 2C-CIM processing chain. Beside the above-mentioned prototypes, the following deliverables will be provided by this project:

  • powders with modified surface properties for improved feedstock preparation
  • high-pressure and low-pressure feedstocks adapted to 2C-CIM
  • interface for linking the simulation tools
  • FEM analysis results of the composite materials behaviour
  • debinding concepts for new developed materials and feedstock systems
  • processing guidelines for 2C-CIM prototype parts
  • report on life cycle and techno-economical assessment.

Launching 2C-CIM technology in the production of multifunctional advanced ceramic parts will strengthen the competitiveness of the European ceramic producers, which are mostly SMEs of which a large extent already use CIM for manufacturing one-component parts. 2C-CIM technology will open new market segments for the ceramic producers.

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