Industrial ceramic materials are non-metallic, inorganic compounds that include oxides, carbides, or nitrides. They have high melting points, low wear resistance, and a wide range of electrical properties.

How Industrial Ceramics are Made

Industrial ceramics are made of minerals that are crushed and ground into a fine powder that is then added to a solution for purification. The chemical precipitate that forms is separated from this solution and heated to form a highly pure powder. After purification, small amounts of wax are added to bind the ceramic powder. Plastics may also be added to provide pliability.

Purified ceramic powder with wax or plastic additions can be shaped into different objects via molding processes such as slip casting, pressure casting, injection molding, and extrusion. After ceramics are molded, they are heated in a process known as densification for strengthening.  

Types of Industrial Ceramics

The GlobalSpec SpecSearch database contains information about many different types of industrial ceramics. For example:

  • Machinable ceramics can be machined in the green, glass, or finished state without excessive chipping. Using metalworking tools, they can be formed into various shapes.  Although the mechanical properties of machinable ceramics are less than those of engineering ceramics, machinable products do not require firing or grinding after machining.
  • Porous ceramics have many open or closed internal pores that provide a thermal barrier. Fused materials bond individual grains or crystals together without the use of binders. Instead, these ceramic materials are formed through sintering or firing, hot pressing or hipping, extrusion, fusing and casting, or deposition.     
  • Refractory ceramics have high melting points and are suitable for applications requiring high wear resistance, high temperature strength, electrical or thermal insulation, or other specialized characteristics.
  • Structural ceramic materials that have higher compressive strengths and elastic moduli than metals.

Ceramic Applications

Industrial ceramic materials are used in a variety of applications. Examples include chemical and materials processing, electrical and high voltage power applications, radio frequency and microwave applications, and foundry and metal processing. Industrial ceramic materials are used to fabricate optical components such as lenses, windows, prisms, and optical fibers. They are also used in the manufacture of semiconductors and parts and tooling.

Read user Insights about Industrial Ceramic Materials