Si2C Evolution: Direct Writing of Silicon Carbide Components

University of Texas at Austin, 2003 - $13,700

Tool steel is the dominant material of choice for aluminum die casters, but it's very tough, hard, and challenging to work with. Machining tool steel to create complex aluminum casting dies is a labor intensive, complex, and slow process that ranges from four to twelve weeks.

The Si2C Evolution E-Team developed new technology that provides superior die tooling to the metal casting industry. The team discovered a process of forming silicon carbide using selective laser sintering (SLS) technology, a process for turning a powdered material and polymer binding agent into a three dimensional part.

Update: the team, now incorporated as Advanced Laser Materials, is on its feet and growing.