Technical ceramic parts are becoming more and more popular in industrial applications. As the different manufacturing processes underwent profound innovation or new ones have been created (e.g. 3D printing), the production of parts is more accessible and attractive.
Low pressure injection moulding (LPIM) is capable to generate ceramic components of precise and near-net shape. It has so become one of the most suitable methods to manufacture complex ceramic parts at short/medium series. It reduces to a minimal the need of any mechanical process after moulding. It is often a very competitive technology for many existent applications, when is used green, pre-sintered or hard machining, where it is found long processing times and high material scrap. Furthermore, it is quicker and cheaper than 3D printing.
However, the offer of LPIM moulding equipments is quite low, and its precision and operation method is not adequate for a quick and sophisticated process used in modern and high productivity companies. Feedstock to be ready to process with the equipment are not market available, so that it considered also as a barrier for the adoption of that technology by a ceramic part manufacturer.
In this context two French and Portuguese R&D centres, specialised in technical ceramics, have gathered in a consortium tending to submit an Eurostars proposal for the next cut-off in September 2021. A French R&D performing equipment supplier (SME), which will be the project proposal's coordinator, is about to be hired.
The project proposal's overall objective is to develop an innovative production process based on Injection Moulding for making small and complex ceramic parts. Are included in this process, the manufacturing of an Injection Moulding equipment for low/medium production series, easy to use and for low tool cost and also the formulation of several novel ceramic feedstocks.
In order to complete the current consortium, they are seeking either industrial or SME partners being capable of guiding the process's development both in the design of the parts to be produced and in the type of ceramic feedstock.
Entities already using the LPIM technology or at least interested in its integration as a production tool are concerned.
The project will have a maximum lifetime of 36 months. It is important to mention the project's future outcomes have to be commercialised in the 24 months following the project's official end.
The collaboration framework will be a research cooperation agreement.
The call's deadline is September 2021
This profile is open for expressions of interest until the 31st July 2021.