Advanced ceramic applications are far-reaching, constantly evolving, and continue to drive innovation in engineering and technology. Different types of advanced ceramics each have specific characteristics, offering a high-performance, economical alternative to traditional materials such as metals, glass, and plastics.
Advanced ceramic applications aim to enhance operation at minimal cost with new materials being constantly engineered and altered to address the needs of the specific and unique applications.
Selecting the Best Advanced Ceramics for the Application
It is important for designers to consider the ceramic materials available. Some ceramic materials are renowned for their electrical, mechanical, and chemical properties. Physical properties such as strength, wear-resistance, hardness, thermal stability, and corrosion resistance must be considered when selecting advanced ceramics for a specific application. These can often be optimised to suit the choice of material and requirements.
Some advanced ceramics applications will be detailed below.
Alumina (Al2O3) is an extremely versatile material that provides a blend of good mechanical and electrical properties. Advanced ceramic applications for this material include X-ray tubes, laser devices, high vacuum applications, electron tubes, pressure sensors and wear components.
Alumina has good stiffness and strength and it is wear-resistant and can utilize additives to enhance properties such as strength. Advanced ceramic applications for this material involve it being joined to other materials such as metallising and brazing methods.
The most common applications for aluminium nitride (AlN) are related to its excellent thermal conductivity, thermal shock resistance, and corrosion resistance. AIN is employed in power electronics, aeronautical systems, optoelectronics, microwave, military, and automotive applications.
Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) offers benefits for applications that require fracture toughness, and chemical and corrosion resistance at high temperature. Zirconia is suitable for structural and engineering applications for which exceptional mechanical strength and properties such as wear resistance, hardness, and corrosion resistance are beneficial.
Silicon nitride (Si3N4) or sialon (Si-Al-O-N) is often used where high material strength and thermal stability is required. Its low thermal expansion coefficient offers excellent thermal shock resistance in comparison to most other ceramic materials.
Silicon nitride has extremely high chemical and wear resistance, high fracture toughness, and hardness. Advanced ceramic applications using this material include valves, bearing ball and roller elements, cutting tools, glow plugs, molten metal handling, welding jigs and fixtures, and welding nozzles.
Silicon carbide (SiC) is suitable for advanced ceramic applications in which a highly wear-resistant material with very high thermal conductivity is needed. This material has excellent chemical resistance, high strength and is specifically used in thermal processing applications.
International Syalons and Advanced Ceramic Applications
International Syalons provides a range of products for advanced ceramic applications such as thermocouple protection tubes, nozzles, foundry handling equipment, and more. If you would like to find out more, you can read more about advanced ceramic applications in the industry.