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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London
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School of Engineering and Materials Science
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PhD Thesis: Micro-Extrusion of fine Ceramic Latticework

Author: CHI, Xiaopeng

Year: 2009

Supervisor(s): Shoufeng Yang

Microextrusion freeforming of ceramic lattices from high solids ceramic pastes is a method for forming complex multi-scale hierarchical porous structures. It has the advantages of low shrinkage stress, high sintered density and environmental compatibility. A user friendly graphical user interface (GUI) was created so that the micro-extrusion freeforming worktable could be made very easy to manipulate even for a beginner. A solvent-based approach to paste preparation for extrusion freeforming was established, involving selection of solvent, polymer and dispersant. The parameters in the process such as solid fraction in the paste, paste viscosity, extrusion rate, X, Y table velocity, filament diameter and the volatilization of the solvent were studied. A substrate material which provided sufficient adhesion to resist shrinkage efficiently and also allowed the extruded lattice to be easily detachable was selected. The extrusion pressure in the alumina paste was monitored and was found to be useful in predicting and optimizing the extrusion behaviour. Hydroxyapatite (HA)/ tricalcium phosphateTCP and alumina lattices were directly fabricated using 80-500 ?m diameter filaments. This thesis reports the implementation of design and fabrication of these scaffolds for tissue engineering, band gap materials and micro-fluidic devices. Multi-scale hierarchical void structures were fabricated and tested in vivo for regenerative medical applications. A co-extrusion nozzle assemble was design to produce tubular alumina lattice.