Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) is one of the most well-characterised ceramic materials on earth. It occurs naturally in the mineral baddeleyite, which primarily adopts a monoclinic crystalline structure: one of the three primary forms of the material. The most widely-known form of zirconia is the cubic crystal phase which often serves as a cost-effective diamond substitute. However, estimates suggest that demand for zirconia ceramics accounts for as much as 54% of the worldwide zirconium market.
Sintering is arguably the most important step in the ceramics manufacturing process. It is the phase when the green-body is fired at temperatures approaching the ceramic powder’s melting point, causing the consolidated raw material to undergo numerous chemical and physical changes. Several distinct sintering methods exist, but each one essentially exploits the same properties of ceramics to form a densified workpiece with desired properties and material characteristics.Continue reading
Lithographic additive manufacturing of advanced ceramics is an emergent technology that is unlikely to replace conventional bulk sintering and machining any time soon – if ever. This is due, primarily, to the scale and precision of components manufactured via 3D printing.Continue reading
Armed with innovative 3D printing technologies, engineers have designed a new generation of microturbines capable of unparalleled operating efficiency at higher speeds and elevated temperatures.Continue reading
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has been on the rise since the early 1980s yet it is still considered an immature technology. The first iterations used photo-hardening of thermoset polymers to generate three-dimensional models via masking or fiber scanning. There are now a myriad of techniques available to generate components via deposition as opposed to conventional machining, yet 3D printing is still generally used for prototyping and hobbyist applications. Significant investment has been made in industrial spaces to help realize the commerciality of additive manufacturing at appropriate scales, particularly for technical ceramic materials.Continue reading
Technical ceramics possess numerous properties that make them attractive engineering solutions for challenging applications. They largely outperform industrial-grade polymers and metals for high-temperature operation, with comprehensively superior mechanical properties and thermodynamic stability. Ceramic solutions are currently utilised in industries as varied as aerospace and defence, automotive engineering, chemicals and petrochemicals manufacturing, energy generation, and molten metal handling.Continue reading
Visit International Syalons and SILCA/Calsitherm at Hannover Messe 1–5 April 2019 at Stand L08, Hall 3, in the Ceramic Applications area.
Advanced ceramics manufacturing comprises three essential stages: raw powder processing; forming; and sintering. This generally describes the process of consolidating a powder-based feedstock and firing the green body to achieve a fully-densified technical ceramic. Net shapes with comparatively loose dimensional tolerances (~1-3%) can typically be produced ‘as-sintered’; requiring no machining or finishing prior to quality assurance inspections. Components with tight tolerances cannot be produced ‘as-sintered’ and may require diamond grinding to ensure that the net shape is usable according to the design intent.Continue reading
International Syalons are delighted to announce their British Ceramic Confederation (BCC) membership.
The BCC are a professional organisation who represent the collective interest of all sectors of ceramic manufacturing in Britain by working extremely hard to safeguard the industry’s prosperity and lead sector discussions and negotiations with Government and public authorities.
Extrusion describes the process where a metal such as copper or brass is forced through an extrusion die with a smaller cross-section. This deforms the material, causing a lengthening of its granular structure and forcing it to adopt a new cross-section uniformly across the entire manufactured workpiece. It is an extremely common metal forming process used to convert cylindrical billets into hollow tubes, or more complex profiles and sections.Continue reading