Milling Media

Selecting the Right Milling Media: Technical Ceramics or Steel?

Grinding samples down to finer consistencies is an age-old process that has not changed much with time. Whether you are looking to achieve the ideal particle size for specific analytical methods, or to prepare homogenous powders for further downstream processing, the general principles of milling remain the same. Materials are broken-up using abrasion, by placing samples in a chamber packed with hard-wearing milling media and applying force.Continue reading

Could 3D Printing Advanced Ceramic Materials Assist Vaccine Development?

Various agencies around the world have long highlighted a potential pandemic as one of the greatest threats to humankind. Since before the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-COV) in 2002, institutions like the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) have developed various models for influenza pandemic planning. These models extol the importance of social distancing in buying time for immunologists to develop an effective vaccine. However, the conventional vaccine development timeline can be torturously slow.Continue reading

Oxide Technical Ceramics: Alumina & Zirconia

Technical ceramics are an advanced class of materials primarily used in tough mechanical engineering applications and environments associated with refractory temperatures or harsh corrosive conditions. Characterised by remarkable thermomechanical properties and wide-ranging resistance to common alkalis, acids, and harsher corrosive agents, fine ceramic materials are used to satisfy some of the most stringent operating objectives in modern industry.Continue reading

Molten Metal Forming

Using Sialons in Aluminium Handling and Smelting

Updated: Originally published on 31/05/2018

Aluminium is one of the most readily-consumed metals on the planet, with production of alloys based predominantly on aluminium topping an average 64 million tonnes per annum. This excludes the growing volume of secondary, or recycled, aluminium which is estimated at a yearly 12 million tonnes. Despite the metal’s ubiquity, there are difficulties associated with aluminium handling and processing, which necessitate advanced material solutions.

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SiC Seals

Non-Oxide Technical Ceramics: Sialons & SiC

Technical ceramics are among the most advantageous engineering materials ever developed, characterized by a diverse range of chemical, electrical, and thermomechanical properties. From hard-wearing silicon carbide (SiC) armour plates to piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO), components based on fine ceramic materials have permeated a broad range of market sectors. This far-reaching applicability stems from the compositional variety of ceramic compositions.

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What is Alumina?

Alumina (Al2O3), otherwise known as aluminum oxide, is an advanced refractory belonging to the oxide group of technical ceramics. It is an extremely versatile material that can be bonded and formed using a broad range of consolidation and sintering techniques, yielding precise near-net shapes in a range of purities.Continue reading