Case Studies

Tailor Made crucible : 3D printing in the service of quality test

Tailor Made crucible : 3D printing in the service of quality test

Because the pellets have been broken and were not numbered anymore, Nicolas Parisse, Quality technician, uses a tailor-made crucible that fulfil his needs.

Crucibles matching his specifications don’t exist on the market, so Nicolas naturally switched to Zetamix 3D printing to print his ideal ceramic part. The technology provides ceramic parts benefiting the same properties as parts made by moulding or injection, while making it possible for an unlimited number of design.

“What we needed was a part that simply didn’t exist, thanks to Zetamix we obtained it within a week.”

The first step of the quality test is checking the density and the surface condition of the pressed pellet that have previously been numbered.

The second step is checking the quality and the homogeneity of the microstructure. However, a pellet would be too large for the microscope, this is why each pellet is broken up into pieces.  When shattered, a piece of each pellet is placed on a crucible and put in a furnace. Then a thermal etching is operated to increase the contrast between grains and make the microstructure analysis possible.

However, the quality service no longer uses regular alumina crucible but a Zetamix tailor made one, more adapted to their needs.The second step is checking the quality and the homogeneity of the microstructure. However, a pellet would be too large for the microscope, this is why each pellet is broken up into pieces.  When shattered, a piece of each pellet is placed on a crucible and put in a furnace. Then a thermal etching is operated to increase the contrast between grains and make the microstructure analysis possible.

Indeed, not only Nicolas was looking for a compartmentalized crucible capable of withstanding very hard thermal treatment (400°C.h-1 to 1500 °C), but he also wanted that each compartment was numbered into the ceramic.  Thus, Nicolas designed an alumina crucible equipped with 15 numbered compartments.

The advantages provided by this new crucible are undeniable. Unlike regular crucibles, this one neutralizes the risk of mixing up the samples when the crucible is handled. By avoiding any risk of confusion between the pellets, the quality service is improving it’s process and the relevancy of the test. Furthermore, using this crucible is time saving : Nicolas can handle sample more quickly and is liberating from the mental workload of making a mistake.

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