Highly Viscous Abrasive Pastes for Trouble-Free Printing

Exact line widths in additive processes despite challenging material properties

Additive processes are now established in industrial branches such as in medical technology and help to produce small batches or personalized products even more cost-efficiently. Now, thanks to further development, highly viscous abrasive pastes can also be dosed in additive processes. The innovative vipro-HEAD print head doses materials that are difficult to process, such as high-performance ceramics, metal or copper pastes, with an exact line width – and with high repeat accuracy. This solution opens up completely new application scenarios for the production of defined geometries across all industries.

Component printed out of highly abrasive pastes with the vipro-HEAD print head.

Component printed out of highly abrasive pastes with the vipro-HEAD print head.

Depending on particle size, solids content and material composition, the one-component vipro-HEAD can achieve fine layer thicknesses of up to 100 µm, especially when dosing highly viscous pastes. The properties of the layer depend on the thickness of the dosing needle used. Of particular interest is the fact that materials with high viscosities of 500,000 mPas or more, can also be processed more precisely with the print head, than was previously done in the industry.

The highly viscous abrasive pastes are applied using the so-called endless piston principle. Precision is made possible by the pressure-tight displacement system used in the vipro-HEAD. In a self-sealing system consisting of rotor and stator, the rotor rotates in a controlled manner. As a result, the materials are conveyed through their displacement in the stator. By reversing the direction of rotation, the material is retracted (suck-back), resulting in a clean material thread break.

Future potential providing a wide range of pastes

The processing of pastes containing particles of silicon carbides or aluminium oxides, for example, is possible by meeting the highest quality standards. The curing of the applied material can be achieved either by exposure to UV, heat, humidity or a combination of all methods – maximum flexibility in production is therefore guaranteed. The surface quality of the finished, visible and measurable material layers depends, among other things, on the diameter of the dosing needle used. A further plus for the vipro-HEAD, and its cross-sector industrial use, is its low-maintenance print head, which enables the long-term dosing of highly viscous abrasive pastes without problems. With the vipro-HEAD, one-component and two-component products can be printed three-dimensionally. It is based on the established ViscoTec endless piston technology, which enables particularly gentle dosing of abrasive materials. On request, the vipro-HEAD can be equipped with sensors that contribute to process and quality control.

Here you will find further information concerning 3D print heads.

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