Ceramics Engineering: Pressure Vs. Pressureless Sintering

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

3 Key Benefits of Printed Ceramic Materials

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

AM Silicon Nitride Ceramics

Ceramic Solutions: Additive Manufacturing High-Quality Silicon Nitride Components

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

Outlining Diamond Grinding of Ceramics

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

Syalon 101 Extrusion Dies for Copper, Brass, and Nimonic Alloys

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