Printing materials have come with a myriad of options, and they are applied at different settings; from schools and workshops to design studios and big companies. The use of kaolin in 3D printing is related to ceramics, perhaps one of the less talked about 3D printing materials. Find out how kaolin becomes a potential material and why you should invest in it.
Ceramics in 3D Printing
First, let’s take a look at ceramics as 3D printing material.
When it comes to ceramic, the image your mind conjured might be objects like vases, bowls, plates, or those traditional ceramic objects. However, there is now a type of ceramic called technical or engineering ceramic. These are high-performance materials designed for various industries.
Technical ceramics have special thermal and physical characteristics that many materials do not have. For example, they are tough and resilient, able to withstand corrosion and wear, and have lower density than steel.
Examples of technical ceramics used in 3D printing include zirconia, alumina, silicon nitride, and silicon carbide. These materials are used in various specialized industries, including biomedical technology, aerospace, electronics, and aviation.
The question is: what is the role of kaolin here?
Kaolin Uses in 3D Printing Mixture
The use of kaolin in 3D printing is currently being studied, but it is agreed that kaolin works best as a mixture in the technical ceramic. It has the potential to provide strength and resilience while reducing the risks of leaking. This means better quality in 3D printing results, which opens the possibilities of using 3D printed objects as more than “just” models.
There are several possible uses of kaolin when mixed with 3D printing material, especially technical ceramics. They are:
1. Architectural Structures
The use of 3D printing used to be limited for model-making. However, the newest 3D printing technology allows us to create actual structures for building projects, like hollow core walls. A 2022 study published at the Cleaner Environmental Systems showed that kaolinite-based concrete mixed with 3D printing material helped create a good structural strength.
The study also showed how the kaolin-based mixture might leave a reduced impact on the environment. Therefore, kaolin-based mixture can be an alternative for environmentally-friendly building projects.
2. Fashion Designs
Fashion designers are currently experimenting with high-quality 3D printing, creating fashion pieces or runway accessories. These products can be made quickly and with affordable cost, but without leaving too much waste. Shoe companies have also used 3D printing to create models during development projects.
Kaolin can add useful characteristics into these 3D printing results. It does not absorb moisture and add to the structural strength. As a white clay mineral, kaolin also provides a good canvas for designing and coloring, like when it is used as a material for making traditional vases, plates, bowls, or jars.
3. Hermetic Packaging
Hermetic packaging is important for commercial industries because it provides an airtight protection for goods. The protective layer keeps oxygen, air, moisture, and other miniscule molecular elements to pass through. 3D printing technology can be used to create hermetic packaging for various purposes, allowing industries to thrive by providing proper packaging for long-term shipping or goods that are difficult to handle.
Kaolin-based mixture can be added into the 3D print material to create hermetic packaging. It can add into the nonporous effect of the packaging, protecting the content. Also, a study for the 20th International Conference on Electronic Packaging Technology showed that the use of kaolin in 3D printing is quite ideal for hermetic packaging with electronic chip integrated.
The Future of Kaolin Use in 3D Printing
3D printing technology faces growing possibilities in the future. With new technology on materials, designs, and printing techniques, 3D printing can be used to support various industries. Here is where kaolin offers further possibilities for this technology.
Kaolin could add the strength, resistance, and resilience necessary to shape materials into desired 3D objects. Kaolin mixture without any chemical treatments can also be used as a mixture for more sustainable 3D printing-related projects. This means we could produce less waste while getting more creative and innovative.
With these bright future possibilities, it is no wonder that the use of kaolin in 3D printing has a good prospect. Anyone interested in kaolin investment should consider working with high-quality suppliers such as Yukami.
Based in Indonesia, Yukami has provided industrial-grade kaolin products for more than 30 years. We offer kaolin in various forms, such as powder, noodle, and cake or lump. Our products have been used by various companies in countries with thriving industries, like China, India, South Korea, and many more. With experiences, long-term partnership offers, and high-quality products and storage, Yukami is a great partner for investing in kaolin.
3D printing technology is likely to thrive and showcase advancement in ways we could only imagine. However, this futuristic projection can only be achieved by innovations and high-quality materials to support it. The use of kaolin in 3D printing is likely to grow. Start thinking of investing in kaolin for this aspect of the industry and even more!