Molten Metal

A Guide to Technical Ceramics

Technical ceramics represent the cutting-edge of industrial materials. Engineered to withstand some of the harshest operating conditions ever conceived, technical ceramics are increasingly pushing the frontiers of market segments around the world.

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Technical Ceramics: Building the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a growing system of interconnectivity between devices and machinery – even those not typically associated with digital communications. Domestic markets have felt the impact of IoT devices most keenly, with the onset of intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs), smart energy monitoring, and WIFI-enabled appliances. Analysts predict that 26 – 100 billion IoT-enabled devices will be in service worldwide by 2020, a growing portion of which will rely on technical ceramics to function correctly. However, these estimates fail to reconcile the comparatively slow uptake of connected devices in industrial settings.Continue reading

Advanced Ceramic Materials: Fundamental to the Future of AI?

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) highlighted reverse-engineering of the human brain as one of the world’s greatest research challenges in the 21st Century. It was established as a priority alongside the economization of solar power and the realization of fusion on earth. By incorporating the aim of breaking down human cognitive abilities and building systems that can replicate them onto this list, the NAE essentially brought the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning out of an exclusively digital space and into the remit of materials science. Advanced ceramic materials, alloys, composites, polymers, and more, are now at the forefront of AI research efforts.Continue reading

Weld Rolls

Benefits of Silicon Nitride Welding & Forming Rollers

Seam welding is one of the most common processes used to join the faying surfaces of unfinished cylindrical profiles (pipes, tubes, etc.). It exploits a similar principle to standard spot welding to produce a durable, longitudinal weld along the full length of the tubular workpiece. The process is typically automated to ensure a uniform solid-state bond, while precision is guaranteed due to the use of welding and forming rollers.Continue reading

Silicon Nitride for Pump Components: Properties & Benefits

Pumping technologies are fundamental to success in an array of market sectors, from municipal water supplies to proprietary ultra-high vacuum (UHV) processing. Poor performance or malfunction in such applications can be extremely costly. Water loss due to leaks in pipelines is estimated to cost billions in annual revenue while inefficient vacuum leak rates in UHV processing can render experiment/production parameters void. These concerns are further amplified when pumps are required to operate in extreme conditions, which can cause conventional pump materials to deteriorate and fail.Continue reading

Future of Technical Ceramics: AI, IoT & Industry 4.0

Ceramics have been exploited by mankind for over 26,000 years. They have been so central to human engineering that it is impossible to pinpoint a singular origin of the pottery-making process. Archaeologists have coined the term “linear pottery culture” to define the period when ceramics were simultaneously and independently discovered by different peoples across Neolithic Europe. Yet the significance of technical ceramics spans far beyond archaeological curiosity, pervading several key periods of history and every phase of industrial progress into the modern age and the future.

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