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Near-Zero Thermal Expansion in Freeze-Cast Composite Materials

Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University, 6274 Coburg Road, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Ceramics 2019, 2(1), 112-125;
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ice-Templated and Freeze-Cast Ceramics)
PDF [9086 KB, uploaded 13 February 2019]


Most materials expand when heated, which can lead to thermal stress and even failure. Whereas thermomiotic materials exhibit negative thermal expansion, the creation of materials with near-zero thermal expansion presents an ongoing challenge due to the need to optimize thermal and mechanical properties simultaneously. The present work describes the preparation and properties of polymer–ceramic composites with low thermal expansion. Ceramic scaffolds, prepared by freeze-casting of low-thermal-expansion Al2W3O12, were impregnated with poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA). The resulting composites can have a coefficient of thermal expansion as low as 2 × 10−6 K−1, and hardness values of 4.0 ± 0.3 HV/5 (39 ± 3 MPa) and 16 ± 3 HV/5 (160 ± 30 MPa) parallel and perpendicular to the ice growth, respectively. The higher hardness perpendicular to the ice growth direction indicates that the PMMA is acting to improve the mechanical properties of the composite. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal expansion; freeze-casting; composite; ice templating thermal expansion; freeze-casting; composite; ice templating

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ellis, S.N.; Romao, C.P.; White, M.A. Near-Zero Thermal Expansion in Freeze-Cast Composite Materials. Ceramics 2019, 2, 112-125.

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