Ceramic materials are suitable for use in the high temperature range. Oxide ceramics, in particular, have a high potential for long-term applications under thermal cycling and oxidizing atmosphere. However, monolithic oxide ceramics are unsuitable for use in high-temperature technical applications because of their brittleness. Thin-walled, oxidation resistant, and high-temperature resistant materials can be developed by reinforcing oxide ceramics with ceramic fibres such as alumina fibres. Of outstanding importance is the increase in the mechanical stability of the composites in comparison to the non-fibre reinforced material. Possible stresses or cracks can be derived along the fibre under mechanical stress or deformation.
Components made of fibre-reinforced ceramic composites with oxide ceramic matrix (OCMC) are currently produced in manual and thus price-intensive processes for small series. Therefore the forming process should be improved. The ceramic injection molding (CIM) process is established in the production of monolithic oxide ceramics. This process is characterised by its excellent automation capability. In order to realize large scale production, the CIM-process is to be transferred to the production of fibre-reinforced oxide ceramics. The CIM-process enables the production of complicated component shapes and contours without the need for complex mechanical post-treatment. This means that components with complex geometries can be manufactured in large quantities.
To investigate the suitability of the injection moulding process for the production of OCMCs, two different feedstocks and alumina fibres (Nextel 610) were compounded in a laboratory-scale compounder. The fibre volume fractions were varied. In a laboratory-scale injection moulding device, microbending specimens were produced from the compounds obtained in this way. To characterise the test specimens, microstructure examinations and mechanical-static tests were done. It is shown that the injection moulding process is suitable for the production of fibre-reinforced oxide ceramics. The investigations show that the feedstocks used have potential for further research work and for future applications as material components for high-temperature applications in oxidizing atmospheres.