Making Alumina Microcomponents From Al Powder


Article Preview

Alumina microcomponents have distinguishing advantages over Si counterparts. However, the shrinkage of alumina, as high as 20%, makes it difficult to produce precision components that require a high tolerance. A new fabrication process is presented to greatly reduce the shrinkage. The process consists of forming an Al powdered component through sintering and transforming the Al powdered component into an alumina part. In this way, the shrinkage occurring in sintering the Al powder component will be compensated by the expansion occurred when Al transforms into alumina. The process involves producing micro-moulds, preparing metallic paste, filling the micro-moulds with the metallic paste, demoulding, sintering the green Al patterns and finally oxidising the sintered Al-based components to achieve alumina components. The process was proven successful. Characterization of the sintered alumina microcomponents has been undertaken, including SEM image analysis, density and scale measurements.



Materials Science Forum (Volumes 534-536)

Edited by:

Duk Yong Yoon, Suk-Joong L. Kang, Kwang Yong Eun and Yong-Seog Kim




J.S. Kim et al., "Making Alumina Microcomponents From Al Powder", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 534-536, pp. 1041-1044, 2007

Online since:

January 2007




[1] L. -A. Liew, W. Zhang, L. An, S. Shah, R. Lou, Y. Liu, T. Cross, M. L. Dunn, V. Bright, J. W. Daily, R. Raj, K. Anseth, Ceramic MEMS - new materials, innovative processing and future applications, Am. Ceram. Soc. Bull., vol. 80, pp.25-30, (2001).

[2] W. Eidelloth, W. J. Gallagher, R. P. Robertazzi, R. H. Koch, B. Oh, R. L. Sandstrom, Wet etch process for patterning insulators suitable for epitaxial high-T superconducting thin film multilevel electronic circuits, Appl. Phys. Lett., 59, 1257-1259, (1991).


[3] F. Rousseau, A. Jain, T. T. Kodas, M. Hampden-Smith, J. D. Farr, R. Muenchhausen, Lowtemperature dry etching of metal oxides and ZnS via formation of volatile metal ß-diketonate complexes, J. Mater. Chem., 2, 893-894, (1992).


[4] Van-Hoy, C., Barda, A., Griffith, M. and Halloran, J. W., Micro fabrication of ceramics by coextrusion, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 1998, 81, 152-158.

[5] Wang, S., Li, J. -F., Watanabe, R. and Esashi, M., Fabrication of lead zirconate titanate microords for 1-3 piezocomposites using hot isiostatic pressing with silicon molds, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 1999, 82, 213-215.


[6] Halloran, J. W., Freeform fabrication of ceramics, Brit. Ceram. T., 1999, 98, 299-303.

[7] Knitter, R., Bauer, W. and Gohring, D., Manufacturing of ceramic microcomponents by a rapid prototyping process chain, Adv. Eng. Mater., 2001, 3, 49-54.


[8] Bourell, D. L., Marcus, H. L., Barlow, J. W. and Beaman, J. J., Selective laser sintering of metals and ceramics, Int. J. Powder Metall., 1992, 28, 369-381.

[9] Subramanian, P. K. and Marcus, H. L., Selective laser sintering of alumina using aluminium binder, Mater. Manuf. Process., 1995, 10, 689-706.

[10] Bauer, W., Ritzhaupt-Kleissl, H. -J. and Hausselt, J., Micropatterning of ceramics by slip pressing, Ceramics International, 1999, 25, 201-205.


[11] U. P. Schonhölzer, R. Hummel, L. J. Gauckler, Microfabrication of Ceramics by Filling of Photoresist Molds, Adv. Mater., 12, 1261-1263, (2000).


[12] P. Jin, K. C. Jiang, and N Sun, Ultra-thick SU-8 Fabrication for Micro Reciprocating Engines, Journal of Microlithography, Microfabrication, and Microsystems, Vol 3, No 4, pp.569-573, (2004).

[13] K. Jiang, M.J. Lancaster, I. Llamas-Garro and P. Jin, SU-8 Ka-Band Filter and Microfabrication, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol 15, pp.1522-1526, (2005).


[14] C. H. Lee, K. Jiang and G.J. Davies, Surface roughness characterization of silicon and SU-8 microcomponents, Proceedings of Lamdamap 2005 International Conference, pp.402-411, Cranfield, UK, (2005).

[15] H. A. Biebuyck, N. B. Larsen, E. Delamarche, B. Michel, IBM J. Res. & Dev. 1997, 41, 159.

[16] Zhao, X. -M., Xia, Y. and Whitesides, G. M., Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Microstructures: Microtransfer Molding, Adv. Mater., vol 8, pp.837-840, (1996).


[17] J. -S. Kim, K. Jiang, I. Chang, A net shape process for metallic microcomponent fabrication using Al and Cu micro/nano powders, J. Micromech. Microeng. 16 (2006) 48-52.


[18] J. -S. Kim, I. Chang, K. Jiang, C. L. Falticeanu, Sintering of loosely packed powder mixture of ultrafine Aluminium and nanopowder of Cu and Sn, Volume 2, Proceedings of EuroPM 2005, 2-5 Oct. pp.211-216.