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AFRL, Florida State University Partner to Study Reinforced Ceramics 3D Printing

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Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Florida State University have engaged in a partnership to produce sensors via reinforced ceramics 3D printing. The effort aims to develop a method through which sensors can be 3D printed through a new liquid polymer material, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said Monday.

The liquid polymer releases a pre-ceramic polymer that then forms ceramic through pyrolysis, a process that decomposes a material via heating.

Research, led by AFRL's Amanda Schrand and former FSU Associate Professor Cheryl Xu, tackled the use of various materials for the creation of high-temperature sensors. Xu said the liquid polymer allows 3D printers to manufacture complex shapes and cellular designs like honeycombs.

"Examples of interest include and are not limited to, propulsion or thermal protection systems, leading edges of hypersonic vehicles, lightweight mechanical metastructures, microelectromechanical systems, etc.," Xu said about the technology's potential applications.