What is high-performance ceramic and how is it manufactured?
Other terms for high-performance ceramics are technical ceramics, industrial ceramics, engineering ceramics or industrial ceramics. High-performance ceramics is a special material that has been optimized for industrial requirements. It is characterised by dimensional stability, mechanical strength and heat resistance. Continuous stress, high temperatures, thermal shock are only some of the requirements that are directed at these technical materials. Areas of application are in devices, systems and machines as centring pins, cutting tools, bearings or nozzles, etc.. Industrial ceramics obtain their properties only through the manufacturing process, the "sintering". The starting materials are aluminium oxide, silicon nitride and zirconium oxide.
For the production of this type of ceramic the base powder is needed first. This is produced by a thermal process that is intended to enable a target-oriented particle design. This allows tailor-made product properties to be achieved.
The process parameters for powder production are as follows:
homogeneous and preset adjustable dwell time from 100 ms to 10 s
adjustable gas atmosphere oxygen-free or oxidizing
adjustable frequency and amplitude of the pulsating hot gas flow
homogeneous process temperature between 200 and 900°C
In this way, the properties of the starting powder for technical ceramics can be achieved in a targeted manner.
Aluminium nitride (AIN) - Material for industrial ceramics
The special feature of this starting product is its very good electrical insulation capability and very high thermal conductivity.
The properties of this material include:
Very high thermal conductivity (>200 W/mK)
High electrical insulation (>1.1012 Ωcm)
Strength according to the double ring method >320 MPa (biaxial strength)
Low thermal expansion 4 to 6x10-6K-1 (between 20 and 1000 °C)
Very good metallizability
Aluminium nitride is therefore particularly suitable for microelectronics and power electronics. Some applications are, for example, heat sinks in LED lighting technology, circuit carriers for semiconductorconstruction or high-performance electronics.
High-performance ceramics made of silicon alumina nitride (SiAlON)
This is the latest generation of technical ceramics and belongs to the group of silicon nitrides. This type of technical ceramics consists of the phases α-SiAlON, β-SiAlON and a semi-crystalline or amorphous grain boundary phase. Characteristic for this material is the much higher hardness with the same toughness as with silicon nitride. The three phases guarantee a high, targeted adaptability to the requirement profiles of different applications.
The production of a gradient material is possible under certain conditions. The surface contains a higher proportion of α-SiAlON than the interior. This is particularly useful for highly wear-resistant cutting ceramic grades for metal cutting. This results in a very high wear resistance. The internal crack toughness thus reaches a very high level. This type of ceramic is mainly used in tribologically highly stressed building components in the paper industry.
The products based on this ceramic material include:
Ceramic cutting materials
high-performance cutting materials
Where is high-performance ceramic used?
Technical ceramics are mainly used in high-temperature technology, mechanical engineering, surface treatment and electrical engineering. It is precisely with this material that customer-specific components can be implemented very well. Innovative engineering, self-developed materials, a wide range of background knowledge as well as years of experience enable excellent custom-made products for continuous industrial use.
In the field of electrical engineering, technical ceramics are used for
High Pressure Guides for Offshore/Onshore Technology
very successfully used.
Advanced ceramics is another term for technical ceramics, industrial ceramics and engineering ceramics. Depending on the starting materials, this extremely high-quality starting material has special properties so that the end products can be manufactured precisely according to the customer's requirements. Wear resistance, toughness, heat resistance and dimensional stability are just some of the high requirements that this material must meet. The longevity of this technical material is outstanding and saves high wear costs, which would arise especially in continuous operation with high requirements.