Technical ceramics: Nothing is impossible
Advances in additive manufacturing have given functional ceramics a powerful boost – and vice versa.4 Mar 2016
The materials engineering company Schunk Carbon Technology is presenting IntrinSiC® at Industrial Supply, the first product to enable the manufacture of complex monolithic components from reaction-bonded silicon infiltrated silicon carbide (SiSiC), one of the world’s hardest metals, via 3D printing. "We have developed a new process where components can be produced from the ceramic material silicon carbide through 3D printing, which until now wasn't possible because of the components’ complexity and size," explains Dr. Arthur Lynen, Head of Development at Schunk Ingenieurkeramik, the special segment for technical ceramics at Schunk Carbon Technology.
This new process is among the highlights at the Engineering Ceramics special display in Hall 6. The display focuses on materials used in engineering ceramics to create customer-specific components ranging from a lot size of one to mass production: aluminum oxide, aluminum nitride, silicon carbide, silicon nitride and zirconium oxide. These innovative materials are also in demand to protect against wear and tear, in such various products as linings, ball valves, welding rollers and cyclones.
"Components made of technical ceramics could be the material solution for situations in process engineering that need to counteract corrosion and mechanical wear and tear - even at high temperatures," explains Karin Scharrer, Editor-in-Chief of "Ceramic Applications". This journal is published by Göller Verlag, which is organizing Ceramic Applications in Hall 6. A platform with the title "Ceramic Applications" has also been established by 30 companies from Germany, France, Great Britain, India, the USA, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. Three German institutes that develop ceramic components and systems for various user industries are also participating in this consortium. This year Ceramic Applications consists of Alteo, Ceramaret, Doceram, Carborundum Universal Limited, EPSI-Engineered Pressure Systems, Frey & Co., Micro Ceram GmbH, IPS Ceramics Limited, FCT, PI Ceramic, OxiMaTec, the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), and the FGK (Research Institute for Inorganic Materials - Glass/Ceramics. Dry chemicals, technologies, components, and the results of application-oriented research will be presented.
Automotive, aviation, aerospace, electronics, sensor technology, energy management, environmental and medical engineering, fluid technology, the metalworking industry, plant construction and many other sectors already make use of technical ceramics. The victory march of additive manufacturing - which can be experienced in Hannover at Digital Factory - has provided an additional boost. "The use of additive manufacturing technologies in ceramics has made it possible to create new construction solutions with more complex geometries," explains Katrin Scharrer.
Around 100 companies in Germany are involved in functional ceramics. A number of them can be found at the special display under the slogan "Think Ceramics". Members of the Ceramics Industry Association (VKI) are demonstrating applications for industrial high-performance ceramics that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Now products range from wear resistant cutting ceramics to substrate plates for the electronics industry, porous structures for membrane and filter technology, and high-strength valves for plant engineering.
The group pavilion "Think Ceramics" serves as an interface between ceramic manufacturers, users, and research institutes. Co-exhibitors this year include Bach Resistor Ceramics, CERA SYSTEM, CeramTec, Döbrich & Heckel, LAPP Insulators Alumina, Morgan Advanced Materials, Porzellanfabrik Hermsdorf, Rauschert, Schunk Ingenieurkeramik, Sembach and Starck Ceramics.
Individual presentations by additional companies, including Friatec and CoorsTek, complete the Engineering Ceramics display.
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