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Increasing Wet Green Strength of Alumina Body During Microfabrication by Colloidal Isopressing

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Colloidal Isopressing involves formulating a slurry with a weakly attractive particle network that can be pre-consolidated to a high relative density by pressure filtration and still retain fluid-like characteristics. The pre-consolidated slurry is injected into an elastomeric mold and isopressed. Isopressing rapidly converts the slurry into an elastic body that can be removed from the mold without shape distortion. Not only is this process rapid, but since the water saturated compact produced by this method does not shrink during drying, it can also be converted into a green body without a long drying period. It is demonstrated that micron-size surface features, such as 5 m wide channels with a depth/width ratio of 2, can be rapidly produced on the surface of alumina powder compacts. The fracturing of thin vertical portions of a micro-patterned surface during pressure release and demolding has been an obstacle to obtaining micron-sized features with high aspect ratios. A method is shown here that enables the fabrication of such features by strengthening the saturated isopressed body. It is shown that concentration controlled gelation of a poly(vinyl alcohol)–Tyzor® Triethanolamine Tritanate (TE) additive effectively increases the strength of the elastic, isopressed body, saturated with water, while maintaining the low viscosity of the pre-consolidated slurry, which is required for transferring the pre-consolidated slurry into a rubber mold prior to isopressing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-5050

Publication date: 01 June 2005

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