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

Weld Pins

Technical Ceramics for Welding Applications

There are a myriad of different welding methods available today, such as metal inert or metal active gas (MIG/MAG) welding, high-frequency electric resistance welding (HF-ERW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), and many more. Technical ceramics can be used in tandem with practically any welding type, but they are typically restricted to high-value industrial processes due to their relatively high costs.Continue reading

Shot Blast Nozzle

Silicon Nitride Nozzles: Blasting, Extrusion & Flow Applications

Silicon nitride (Si3N4) ceramics offer some of the best-in-class tribological properties, with outstanding nominal fracture toughness (Syalon 101 = 7.7 MPa m1/2) and exceptional strength characteristics (compressive, flexural, etc.). This combination makes silicon nitride ideal for precise wear applications where components are subjected to significant ongoing stress throughout service: dies, weld rolls, and cutting tools for example.Continue reading