Biopolymer-Based Gel Casting of Ferroelectric Ceramics


  • The authors would like to thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for funding of this work through the Discovery Grants program. We also acknowledge the support of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Atlantic Innovation Fund, and other partners who fund the Facilities for Materials Characterization, managed by the Institute of Materials Research (IRM).


Ferroelectric ceramics have a wide range of industrial applications. While components can be formed through simple ‘press and sinter’ approaches, there is an increasing need for more flexible processing methods. Suspension based forming promotes greater homogeneity, through elimination of processing defects, and allows the formation of more complex shaped components. In the present work, the application of aqueous gel casting technologies is reviewed, and in particular the use of natural biopolymers as gelation aids for such approaches. Recent studies of the application of such technology to complex shape forming of BaTiO3 ferroelectric ceramics are examined. Emphasis is placed upon a simple subtractive rapid prototyping method, utilizing aqueous gel casting in combination with green machining.