What Are Engineering Ceramics?

Engineering ceramics, also known as advanced ceramics, precision ceramics, high-tech ceramics, etc., refer to the use of high-purity, ultra-fine synthetic or selected inorganic compounds as raw materials, with excellent mechanical, sound, light, thermal, electrical, biological and other characteristics Ceramics. Engineering ceramics are different from traditional ceramics in terms of raw materials and processes. The specific fine structure makes them have a series of advantages such as high strength, high hardness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance, insulation, superconductivity, and biocompatibility, and are widely used In the fields of national defense, chemical industry, metallurgy, electronics, machinery, aviation, aerospace, biomedicine, etc.

Engineering Ceramics And Its Types

Engineering ceramics can be divided into two categories according to their characteristics and uses: structural ceramics and functional ceramics. Structural ceramics refers to ceramics that can be used as engineering structural materials. It has high strength, high hardness, high elastic modulus, high temperature resistance, wear resistance, thermal shock resistance, etc.; functional ceramics refers to electronic, superconducting, magnetic , Optical, energy storage, biological and other characteristics of ceramics.

Various engineering ceramics

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Engineering Ceramic Materials

Engineering ceramics can be divided into oxide ceramics, nitride ceramics, carbide ceramics, boride ceramics, silicide ceramics, fluoride ceramics, and sulfide ceramics according to their chemical composition.

Below, we introduce several common engineering ceramics!


Alumina ceramics

Alumina, also known as Aluminum Oxide, is a hard wearing advanced precision ceramic material frequently used in a wide variety of industrial applications. Once fired and sintered, it can only be machined using diamond-grinding methods. It features high hardness and wear resistance, low erosion levels, high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and bioinertness. Additionally, it can be highly polished making it useful for precision sealing applications like pumps and pistons.

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Zirconia Ceramics

Unlike traditional ceramics that tend to be hard and brittle, Zirconia offers high strength, wear resistance, and flexibility far beyond those of most other technical ceramics. Zirconia is a very strong technical ceramic with excellent properties in hardness, fracture toughness, and corrosion resistance; all without the most common property of ceramics – high brittleness. 

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Silicon Nitride Ceramics

Silicon Nitride has the most versatile combination of mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of any technical ceramic material. It is a high performance technical ceramic that is extremely hard and has exceptional thermal shock and impact resistance. It surpasses most metals high temperature capabilities and has a superior combination of creep and oxidation resistance.

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Aluminum nitride Ceramics

Aluminum nitride (AlN) has high thermal conductivity and electrical insulation, which makes it can be used in various electronic equipment. The aluminum nitride thermal conductivity is 260W / (m.k), which is 5-8 times higher than that of alumina ceramics. Therefore, AlN Ceramics have good thermal shock resistance and can be used in extremely hot environment at 2200 ℃.

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Engineering Ceramics Examples

  • Aluminum nitride ceramic surface metallization
  • Silicon nitride ceramic bearings
  • Silicon carbide structural ceramics

What is the process of ceramics?

Engineering ceramics can be processed in green or fully dense state. In the green state, it can be processed into complex geometry relatively easily.However, the sintering process that is required to fully densify the material causes the Engineering ceramics body to shrink approximately 20%. This shrinkage means that it is impossible to hold very tight tolerances when machining Engineering ceramics pre-sintering. In order to achieve very tight tolerances, fully sintered material must be machined/ground with diamond tools.  In this process a very precise diamond coated tool/wheel is used to abrade away the material until the desired form is created. Due to the inherit toughness and hardness of the material, this can be a time consuming and costly process.

Technical Ceramics Companies

Great Ceramic is your Engineering ceramics machining specialist for your precision ceramic prototyping & manufacturing needs; we are always happy to use our many years of advanced ceramics experience to provide advice on materials, design, and application. If you would like to buy Engineering ceramics plates, rods, tubes or custom machined components, please contact us and one of our experts will be happy to assist you.

Learn more about ceramics

Engineering ceramics From Wikipedia