A zirconia microelectromechanical-system-based microthruster was fabricated through a newly developed fabrication route. Gel casting of homogenously dispersed zirconia suspension on polydimethylsiloxane soft mold was utilized to replicate the geometries of microthruster design onto a ceramic layer of about 1.2mm thick. Lamination of the patterned ceramic layer to another flat ceramic layer and subsequent sintering produced the microthruster. Characterizations on the fabricated prototype showed good shape retention on the replicated geometries and good quality of lamination. Shrinkage of about 10-15% was noted after sintering. The current fabrication route is particularly promising for the development of high-performance micropropulsion systems which require their structural material to survive in an extreme environment which is corrosive, of high temperature and highly oxidative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering