A Novel Approach to Additive Manufacturing of Alkali-activated Materials: Laser-induced Slip Casting (LIS) of Lithium Aluminate/Silica Slurries

ISSN online 2612-4882
ISSN print 2612-4408

Press Register No. 3/19, Court of Forlì
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Petr Hlaváčeka, Gregor J.G. Glutha, Jörg Lüchtenborga, Patrick Sturma, Thomas Mühlerb, Hans-Carsten Kühnea, Jens Günstera
aBundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Berlin, Germany
bTechnische Universität Clausthal, Institute of Non-Metallic Materials, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany



Additive manufacturing of alkali-activated materials currently attracts a lot of attention, because of the possibility to produce customized high-performance elements for a range of applications, potentially being more resource-efficient than conventionally produced parts. Here, we describe a new additive manufacturing process for alkali-activated materials that is based on selective laser-heating of lithium aluminate/microsilica slurries. The new process-material combination allows to manufacture elements with complex geometries at high building rates and high accuracy. The process is versatile and transferrable to structures of sizes differing by orders of magnitude. The mechanical strength of the obtained materials was in the range of values reported for conventional metakaolin-based geopolymers, and superior to what has been hitherto reported for alkali-activated materials produced by additive manufacturing. This mechanical performance was obtained despite the fact that the degree of reaction of the lithium aluminate and the microsilica was low, suggesting that significant reactions took place only at the surface of the microsilica particles.
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