Optimization of Ceramic Shells for Contact with Reactive Alloys
Companies are continuously under pressure to innovate their products and processes. In Portugal, there are already several examples of enterprises that have chosen research groups, associated to universities, to straighten collaboration seeking the development of new materials and advanced technological processes, to produce components with complex shapes, high surface quality, and others, at low cost, for continuously more demanding applications. Unfortunately, these cases are still a very small number, and many efforts have to be done to enlarge the collaboration university-companies. Ti and other reactive alloys are important groups of metals that are under intense and continuous research and development. For example, the high mechanical properties, low density, osteointegration behavior, corrosion resistance to fluids and tissues of the human body, the ability to be sterilized, and the possibility to obtain complex shapes, makes Ti a very attractive material for medical applications. The investment casting process, using lost wax or lost rapid prototyping models, allows designers a great amount of freedom and capacity to quickly produce castings of high dimensional accuracy and excellent surface quality suitable for different applications. Many of the castings obtained by this process are immediately ready for use, avoiding costly machining operations and joining processes, making the process very attractive to produce precision parts in Ti and other reactive alloys. However, the high reactivity of the Ti raises several compatibility problems with the traditional materials employed on the ceramic shells for casting steels and non ferrous alloys. The fragile surface layer obtained on the interface Ti-ceramic shell, result of the Ti reaction with oxygen and nitrogen of the shell, significantly reduces the mechanical properties of the cast parts, making them useless. The aim of the present work is the study of the interface properties of the Ti-ceramic shell, in order to be able to manufacture ceramic shells of low chemical reactivity for the investment casting process of reactive alloys, namely; titanium alloys, inconel, aluminotitanates, and others. Ceramic shells manufactured with calcium and yttria stabilized zirconia and other non reactive ceramics were employed and the metallic interface characterized in terms of microscopic and microhardness properties.
António Torres Marques, António Fernando Silva, António Paulo Monteiro Baptista, Carlos Sá, Fernando Jorge Lino Alves, Luís Filipe Malheiros and Manuel Vieira
T. P. Duarte et al., "Optimization of Ceramic Shells for Contact with Reactive Alloys", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 587-588, pp. 157-161, 2008