CeramTec GmbH, Plochingen, Germany, has added ROCAR® 3D, a new technical ceramics material, to its portfolio. The silicon carbide (SiSiC) material for Additive Manufacturing is suitable for the development and production of single or multiple prototypes or components. To illustrate the many advantages of SiSiC Additive Manufacturing, CeramTec has produced a number of example parts from its new ROCAR 3D material.
The company explains that a recent study by the European Patent Office reported that Additive Manufacturing is growing rapidly in a wide range of industry sectors, especially in recent years. However, compared to polymers and metals, AM is not yet used as widely for technical ceramics production.
Ceramic AM is reported to be faster overall than conventional production processes. Equally important are the almost limitless possibilities in terms of product geometry and individual shaping, which are difficult to realise with conventional processes, states CeramTec. Producing ceramic components using AM offers many advantages, especially for small series production where the development of components can be achieved more quickly as this often results in a faster product launch at lower costs.
In the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Additive Manufacturing has also proven that it can bridge supply chain bottlenecks. The technology is more than good for a crisis, however: the process enables component optimisation, including customisation and, due to the nature of the AM machine used, multiple components can be produced simultaneously at a low cost. On top of this, the production of complex geometries and intricate functions can be consolidated into one component with material parameters closely corresponding to conventionally-produced components.
ROCAR 3D is said to complement the company’s wide range of materials for highly specialised ceramic elements, and AM enables the development of components that may later be produced in large series in a particularly cost-effective and innovative way. The company also believes Additive Manufacturing will increasingly be used for the production of end-use products.