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Opportunities in processing ceramic and metal colloids for meso-scale components and devices

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 - 22:00
Nanoparticulates in colloids have much promise in the manufacture of bulk devices and components. In this presentation, the opportunities provided by well-dispersed inorganic nanoparticulates are reviewed. The dispersion technique that we have developed for nanocolloids is based on an approach presented by Zsigmondy almost one hundred years ago, protection-dispersion. The talk will focus on the manufacture of mesoscale structures including MEMS, multilayer components, and surgical instruments. An investment casting process, originally reported over 5000 years ago during the Bronze Age, has been developed to manufacture sub-100 micron (mesoscale) components. In preliminary process iterations, mesoscale parts have been produced that have an as-sintered edge resolution less than one micron. The engineering and scientific issues that were addressed in the development of the investment casting approach will be discussed. In addition, the mechanical properties of Y-TZP test specimen that are nominally 400 microns by 20 by 25 microns will be presented. At this writing the Y-TZP mechanical bend bars have a median strength of about 500MPa with a Weibull modulus of 10. The implication of the reasonably good bend strength in the design of surgical instruments will be discussed. In particular, Frecker???s optimal topological modeling has been used to design a combined forcep-cutting instrument.