ESR11 - Alejandro Monton Zarazaga


My name is Alejandro Montón Zarazaga. I graduated from Zaragoza University in 2016 with Bachelor's degree of science in Physics. During this period, I had my first work experiences; in the first place, with a 3-month internship in one of the leading electric companies in Spain, Endesa, and on my last course, I worked as a management technician in the green office of Zaragoza. Afterward, I joined an IT company, Deloitte DXD, where I worked as a SAP programmer for 1 year. After this period, I started a Master's degree and graduated in 2018 with a Master of Science Physics from Zaragoza University. During the Master’s degree and before being enrolled in a Ph.D. programme, I focused my work on chemistry laser at the Aragon Materials Science Institute.


Currently, I am an early stage researcher with an ITN Marie Curie Fellow at CIRIMAT and Ph.D. student at INP Toulouse University. Here, my research is about development of 3D printed ceramics and additive manufacturing. Specifically, my line of research is focused on Silicon carbide based 3D printed materials for space applications; the original scientific approach of this research resides in the production of innovative SiC powders (produced by MERSEN BOOSTEC) that enable sinterability exacerbated by grain surface functionalization. I have also involved in various activities like private teaching, summer camp direction and Futsal coordination of the Faculty of Sciences at Zaragoza University. I chose research because of the desire to transform and improve society and to contribute my own. More importantly, my choice originated from my belief that research in every possible way is one of the fundamental factors of development. No country can achieve sustainable development without research. I define myself as an imaginative, curious and dynamic person who is currently printing science. As Einstein said, “Imagination is the highest form of research”.


Subject description:


Silicon carbide (SiC) is a widely used industrial ceramic because of its excellent properties such as its high mechanical stiffness, low density, high thermal conductivity, low coefficient of expansion, and high resistance to corrosion, which makes it useful for a wide range of applications (friction rings, lightweight structures and optical components for space). In addition to the interest of its properties for structural applications, silicon carbide is also widely used in the chemical industry for its high resistance to corrosion and abrasion (sealing rings for pumps, heat exchangers, continuous flow chemical reactors, fluid injection tubes…).


Traditionally, SiC ceramic components were shaped by molds and densified by sintering, using methods such as dry pressing, slip casting, injection molding, etc. However, if the shape of components were complex, the components could be very difficult or even impossible to fabricate. In recent years, additive manufacturing (AM), which can be used to fabricate complex 3D ceramic components without molds, has been considered as a solution to problems with producing complex molds


As one of additive manufacturing methods, selective laser sintering (SLS) has been expected to fabricate complicated shape components in recent years. It based on powder from any desired shape of CAD models without molds. However, silicon carbide ceramic parts prepared by SLS still exhibit some fatal defects, including low densities and poor mechanical properties.


To meet the requirements of future space optical observing programs, Toulouse INP and MERSEN BOOSTEC Company are involved in the research and development of selective laser sintering of silicon carbide. The original scientific approach of this PhD resides in the production of innovative SiC powders (produced by MERSEN BOOSTEC) that enable sinterability exacerbated by grain surface functionalization.

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    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie grant agreement No 764935