Tethon 3D is introducing the new Tethonite Mullite ceramic powder for use in binder jetting additive manufacturing along with the upcoming release of a beta version of UV curable mullite ceramic resin for SLA and DLP 3D printing. Mullite is the mineralogical name for the only chemically stable intermediate phase in the SiO2–Al2O3 system. The mineral rarely occurs in its natural form and can be found on the Isle of Mull off the western coast of Scotland. For a long time, mullite has been used as a refractory material
Mullite Tethonite expands the broad menu of proprietary ceramic powders developed by the company. “Ceramic powder material development continues to be an area of focus for us,” said CEO Karen Linder. “We have over a decade of R&D experience and expertise with ceramic powders in binder jetting additive manufacturing applications.”
Objects fabricated with mullite material are resistant to thermal stresses and have low thermal conductivity. Mullite materials are used principally in furnace liners, electrical insulators and heat exchange parts.
“Ceramic and metal additive manufacturing is growing at a rapid pace. We believe that some of the largest growth we’ll see in the next five years is pushing the current boundaries of how things are post processed. We see a lot of value in printing this Mullite material into custom kiln furniture & refractory products,” said company President Trent Allen.
To perform binder-jet 3d printing with Mullite Tethonite, a Tethon 3D companion binder is necessary. Sintering of 3d printed Mullite objects is recommended at 1750°-1850°C (3180°-3360°F).
Today’s launch adds to the current Tethonite branded ceramic powder portfolio which includes High Alumina, Porcelain, Stoneware and Earthenware.
Following the 3D printing process, the printed objects from all the above materials must be sintered in a kiln to achieve vitrification. No other post-processing or infusion steps are required.
When appropriately sintered, the 3D printed objects are one hundred percent ceramic and exhibit expected physical properties of each of the respective ceramic materials. Additionally, Tethon 3D formulates custom powders and UV curable resins for clients that wish to use innovative, unique materials for additive manufacturing.