As industries across the globe require increasingly high product performance, molten metal quality is becoming more and more important. Aluminium is the second-most consumed metal across the globe and the market produces more than 50 million tons of aluminium every year.Continue reading
Foundry operations are inherently dangerous. The production of metal castings is associated with numerous health hazards, including exposure to chemicals, gases, heat, and non-ionizing radiation. It is not uncommon for iron and steel workers to be chronically exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), respirable silica, or carbon monoxide (CO). Beyond exposure issues, there are also concerns surrounding molten metal/water explosions and catastrophic component failure due to corrosion, thermal strain, or wear.
Advanced ceramic materials continue to push engineering frontiers, and while there may be an open question about the true sustainability of technical materials from alumina (Al2O3) to zirconia (ZrO), there is no doubt about their impact on clean technology. We have spent the last few articles discussing the impact of advanced ceramic manufacturing on our environment, and their long-term viability in terms of pollution. In this article, we will explore the many exciting successes of sustainable advanced ceramic innovations and applications. Continue reading
Advanced ceramic manufacturing is a complex multi-step process centring on the consolidation and sintering of raw mineralogical feedstocks. Regardless of the type of ceramic (oxide or non-oxide), or the complexity, shape, size, and structure of the finished part, it is this densification stage of production that unlocks the outstanding thermomechanical properties of technical ceramic materials. It is also, by far, the most energy-intensive link in the advanced ceramics manufacturing chain.Continue reading
Technical ceramics have become a mainstay among advanced engineering materials, replacing heavy duty metallic alloys and even refractories in many challenging applications and industries. This stems from their good all-round thermomechanical properties, but can also be attributed to incremental improvements in designing with ceramics and ceramic manufacturing. So, what impact does this shift towards specialist, high-performance material solutions have on corporate and social responsibilities, and sustainability initiatives?Continue reading
Ceramics have been utilised by mankind for millennia, mainly due to the abundance of raw materials and the relative ease with which basic pottery can be manufactured. Industrial production is of course more complicated than simple green kiln firing, but even advanced ceramics like aluminium oxide (Al2O3), boron nitride (BN), and zirconia (ZrO2) are derived from source materials that are relatively plentiful on earth. This is often used as an argument in favour of the eco-friendly credentials of technical ceramic materials.Continue reading
Engineering ceramics occupy the cutting edge of industrial processing. They are deployed where conventional materials are prone to failure, or to refine equipment for greater throughput and profitability. Their incredibly favourable thermomechanical properties have made them a mainstay in metalworks and steel foundries for decades, where they generally offer long-lasting performance over multiple cycles—even when in direct contact with molten metals.
Ceramics might be the most diverse materials ever made. Spanning the entire spectrum of manufacturing, from delicate commodities to functional electronics and heavy-duty components, they represent unique performance capabilities that have rapidly pulled away from traditional engineering materials.Continue reading
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Data acquisition and signal transmission within harsh environments is an ever-present pain point for manufacturers across the full spectrum of engineering. As developers continue to push the technological envelope, the need for next-generation sensing solutions only grows exponentially. Technical ceramics like silicon nitride (Si3N4) are poised to assist developers of novel sensors for cutting-edge application areas. But what are the key challenges facing sensing technologies today, and how can silicon nitride ceramics help?Continue reading