The Slip-casting process involves using a “slip” which is a suspension of fine ceramic material powders in a liquid such as water or alcohol with small amounts of secondary materials such as dispersants, and binders. This material is poured into a mould which is typically made from Plaster. The mould is created from a wooden former so it is easy to reproduce a number of casting moulds. The plaster mould draws water from the poured slip to compact and form the casting at the mould surface. This dries to form a dense part removing deleterious air gaps and controlling shrinkage. Once the part is formed it is sintered to produce the finished product.
The slip casting process has a number of advantages and disadvantages associated but can be cost effective under the right conditions as a method of manufacture.
Some of these advantages include a low tooling and set up cost and it is a very simple method of production. Another sizable benefit being no expensive equipment is required (until you come to the sintering which is a cost for all ceramic manufacturing methods). The slip casting process does not generally require highly skilled operatives.
By contrast some of the disadvantages include the fact that this process is reasonably Labour intensive which results in slow production speeds. For higher levels of production many moulds are required and the skilled blending of the slip is vital to repeatability.
In conclusion slip casting is a very effective way of making small to medium volumes of simple to fairly complex shaped components in a wide range of ceramic materials.
Post time: 03-04-2017