Implemented where other materials fail.
Ceramic materials that have been optimized for technical applications are referred to as advanced ceramics. Among other things, they are characterized by their purity and the more tightly tolerated grain size, as well as by special heat processes such as sintering. Due to their specific properties, they are superior to other materials in many areas of application.
Wear resistance. Maximum resistance to abrasion
Temperature resistance. Heat resistance well over 1,000°C
Minimal thermal expansion. Reduction of mechanical stresses in the component
Low density. Lightweight material with high strength
Great hardness. Ceramic is much harder than steel
Biocompatibility. Ideal for use in medical technology
Electrical insulating capability.
High electrical insulating capability, semiconductor or piezoelectric properties
Material: ATZ HIP (80% ZrO₂ / 16% Al₂O₃ / 4% Y₂O₃), grain size: 0.36 µm,
magnification: × 20,000
Material: ZrO₂ TZP-A HIP (94.75% ZrO₂ / 5% Y₂O₃ / 0.25% Al₂O₃), grain size: 0.34 µm, magnification: × 20,000
A matter of interaction
The respective characteristics of the ceramic components are defined by the individual composition of raw materials and the different manufacturing process. The type, purity and grain size of the base materials and the selected shaping process – for example isostatic pressing or injection molding – play a central role here. For example, the ceramic material aluminum nitride (AlN) combines optimal heat conduction properties with minimal thermal expansion, while zirconium oxide (ZrO2) has the same modulus of elasticity as steel.
The manufacturing process
In the case of products made from advanced ceramics, the material properties, shape and size are inextricably linked to the individual production steps. The manufacture of the raw material, including the targeted influencing of the microstructures in the sintering process, is just as important for the finished component as the final precise machining in the grinding process.
The manufacturing process in detail
For individual requirements
Due to their specific properties such as wear resistance and temperature resistance, components made of advanced ceramics are used wherever other materials do not meet the requirements – for example, as bearings in gas turbines, electrical insulators, heating elements, replacements for bones or teeth in medical technology, as elements for yarn refining in the textile industry and in watch and jewelry production.
Oxide or non-oxide ceramics – it all depends on the bonding
Oxide ceramicsOxide ceramics consist mainly of metal oxides and have a higher comparative proportion of ionic bonds than what we call non-oxide ceramics. This means that the work involved in manufacturing their raw materials is lower by comparison. Oxide ceramics include, for example, aluminum oxide (Al2O3), barium titanate (BaTiO3), magnesium oxide (MgO) and zirconium oxide (ZrO2), as well as mixed ceramics such as lead zirconate titanate (PZT), zirconium oxide reinforced with aluminum oxide (ATZ) and aluminum oxide reinforced with zirconium oxide (ZTA).
Non-oxide ceramicsNon-oxide ceramics are made from synthetic raw materials. These usually consist of nitrides or carbides and sometimes have very unusual properties achieved due to the high proportion of covalent bonds. As a result, the production of the corresponding raw material powder is highly complex and expensive. Non-oxide ceramics include, for example, silicon carbide (SiC), silicon nitride (Si3N4), aluminum nitride (AlN) and boron carbide (B4C).