A novel approach for manufacturing porous materials, foreseen as solar receivers for concentrated sun radiation, used in the power tower technology is presented. In such applications, materials are subjected to steep thermal gradients and thousands of cycles. Yet, materials consisting of honeycombs and ceramic foams showed insufficient thermal performance. By using the fused filament fabrication process, one can design printed parts meeting the requirements for solar receivers, namely dark color and high solar absorptance. This exploratory study unveils data on the retained crushing strength of newly developed 3D-printed porous Black Zirconia cubes after thermal cycling under similar conditions to those experienced by volumetric receivers and catalyst substrates for solar fuels (H2 and/or CO) production via the thermochemical cycle. Unlike dense ceramics, the resistance to thermal shock of 3D-printed cubes underwent a gradual decrease with the increase in the thermal gradient. The thermal shock cycles were performed between 800 °C and 1100, 1200, and 1300 °C, corresponding to a ΔT of 300, 400, and 500 K, respectively. Additionally, water quenching tests were performed at ΔT = 300 K up to 400 K. Crushing strength measurements carried out to evaluate the retained mechanical strength after exposure up to 100 cycles showed that the Black Zirconia cubes can withstand thermal gradients up to at least 400 K.
Costa Oliveira, F. A., Sardinha, M., Galindo, J., Rodríguez, J., Cañadas, I., Leite, M., & Fernandes, J. C. (2023). Manufacturing and Thermal Shock Resistance of 3D-Printed Porous Black Zirconia for Concentrated Solar Applications. Crystals, 13(9), 1323. https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst13091323
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