Ceramics in additive manufacturing
Plastics and many metals are easier to process in conventional processes than ceramics. Ceramics break easily and are very soft as green compacts. But its properties argue for increased use in industrial settings. 3D printing is expanding the possibilities for technical ceramics because additive processes now make intricate details, fine geometries and hollow structures possible.
The most commonly used ceramics in additive manufacturing are zirconia and alumina. The latter has good insulating properties and is therefore particularly suitable for applications involving electronics and in electrical engineering. The low-wear, biocompatible zirconium oxide with a thermal expansion similar to that of steel is suitable for industrial and medical technology applications. Ceramics from the carbide and nitride families are also suitable where fire resistance is required.