Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 8

Ceramic materials are inorganic and non-metallic.

They are generally molded

from a mass of raw material at room temperature, and gain their typical physical
properties through a high temperature firing process. We also regard glass,
enamel, and glass ceramic and inorganic cementitious materials (cement, plaster
and lime) as ceramic materials
Except for glass, ceramics have a crystalline structure; the crystal structures are
more complex than metals. Another difference from metal is the bonding behavior.
Oxides show mainly ionic bonding, and carbides and nitrides are mainly covalently
Glasses are based on SiO2 with various further additions, mainly Na2O for various
Technical ceramics are ceramics products for engineering applications (e.g., turbo
charger rotors) and for no engineering applications (e.g., clay products for
High performance ceramic might be a better term for ceramics for engineering
applications. High performance ceramic is defined as a highly developed, high
strength ceramic material, that is primarily nonmetallic and inorganic and
possesses specific functional attributes. We can subdivide these ceramics
according to their properties and applications into the following groups:

Structural or construction ceramics, sometimes also called industrial or

engineering ceramics, are materials, are materials that must withstand, for
example, mechanical stresses, bending, or pressure.
Functional ceramics are ceramic parts that posses specific electric.
Magnetic, dielectric, or optical properties. An example is a capacitor
dielectric made from barium titanate that shows extremely high permittivity

Electrical ceramics are used for specific electric and electronic applications
owing to, for example, their excellent insulating properties in combination
with good mechanical strength. The electronics industry also takes
advantage of characteristics such as ferroelectric behavior, semi
conductivity. Examples are insulators made from Al2O3 and an oxygen
sensor made of ionic ZrO2
Cutting tool ceramics are applied in machining processes (lathe bits, drilling,
milling) because of their excellent wear and high temperature resistance.
Si3N4 is a ceramic used for high speed cutting of break wheels made from
al alloys

Medical ceramics are used for applications within the human body, for
example, products for replacing bones, teeth, or other hard tissue. A famous
application is the implant made of Al2O3 for hip bones owing to its good
wear resistance and good compatibility with the human body.

The definitions of ceramics might be a bit confusing because the categories may
overlap. However, for engineering application we regard all the above mentioned
ceramic group as high performance ceramics. The high performance concept is
primarily used to distinguish them from technical ceramics based on clay used for
tableware applications and other no engineering applications.

7.2.2 Ceramic material types

In additions to grouping ceramics by application, we can group them according to
their chemical composition or microstructure. Table 7.1 lists the most important
technical ceramics . silicate (SiO2 Based) ceramics
Silicate ceramics, as the oldest group among all the ceramics, represent the
largest proportion of technical ceramics. The major components of these
multiphase materials are clay, kaolin, feldspar, and soapstone as silicate sources.
Additionally such components as alumina and zircon are used to achieve special
properties such as higher strength. After sintering, the material exists in a
crystalline phase and a > 20% glassy phase based on SiO2
Owing to their relatively low sintering temperatures and the ready availability of the
natural raw materials, silicate ceramics are much cheaper that the oxide or
nonoxide ceramics , which will be described below. The latter require expensive
synthetic powders and high sintering temperatures
Silicate ceramics are used in a wide range of applications in the electrical
equipment industry. Typical uses are insulators, fuse cartridges, catalysts, and
enclosures in high and low voltage applications. Shows ternary phase
diagrams, which help in understanding the compositions of various silicate
ceramics explained in the following chapters. porcelain
Technical porcelains belong to the alkaline alumina silicate porcelain group. The
various porcelains types are quartz porcelain, and up to lithium porcelain. As
electricity began to be used in homes and industry, porcelain types already offered
excellent properties such as high mechanical strength, excellent electrical
insulating properties, and outstanding resistance to chemical attack. As energy
consumption rapidly increased, so did the needs of electrical technology, and the
properties of porcelain were continually improved. This led to todays alumina
porcelain, which exhibits noticeably greater strength and reliability even under
extreme thermal stress or thermal shock conditions. However, raw materials for
alumina porcelain are more expensive than raw materials for quartz porcelain, so
quartz porcelain represents an economic alternative for moderate load
applications. steatite
Steatite is a ceramic based on natural raw materials and consists mainly of
soapstone [Mg(Si4O10)(OH)2], a natural magnesium silicate, with the addition of
clay and feldspar or barium carbonate. Various steatite, types exist: normal steatite
and special steatite. The latter is known as high frequency steatite and has a low
loss factor. However, special steatite is not only used for high frequency parts.
Because of its excellent workability, it is also used for thin parts, requiring a
constant thickness. This allows thermally induced mechanical stress to be
controlled. Typical applications are sockets, control housings, insulating beads, low
- voltage power fuses, and base plates. cordierite
A simplified approximation of the compositions of cordierite ceramic is 14% MgO,
35% Al2O3, and 51% SiO2. Cordierite is fabricated by sintering soapstone or
talcum with the addition of clay, kaolin, fireclay, corundum, and mullite. Cordierite
materials have a low coefficient of thermal expansion. This is the reason for their
outstanding thermal shock resistance combined with good mechanical strength.
Cordierite, moreover, behaves inertly toward heating element alloys at
temperatures up to 1000 or even 1200c therefore, cordierite are often found in
electric heating applications. Applications include insulators for continuous flow
electric water heaters, heating element pipes, heating element supports in
furnaces, link heaters, heating cartridges for soldering irons, and so on. Cordierite
is also used as a catalyst carrier in automobiles mullite
Pure mullite (3Al2O3 SiO2) consists of 82.7% Al2O3 and 17.3% SiO2 by mass. By
varying the composition of the Al2O3 SiO2 system, specific modifications of the
mullite materials properties can be achieved. Mullite ceramics have a micro
structure whose mineral phases consist of pure mullite, corundum (Al2O3), and
glass (SiO2). Mullite usually still has a porosity of about 10% after sintering.
Therefore, it is highly resistant to thermal shock and it has a low coefficient of
thermal expansion. Applications include kiln furniture fot temperatures up to
1700c, even in oxidizing atmospheres, and carrier rollers in high temperature
furnaces. Because of its low thermal conductivity and high corrosion resistance, it
is also used as an industrial refractory material.


This is the why, whenever possible, drying, burning out, and sintering are
integrated in one process cycle.
Whereas the density of the green body lies in the range of 70% (percent of
theoretical density), depending on forming processes, the ceramic part will achieve
densities well above 90% after sintering. The shrinkage is strongly dependent on
the material. Shrinkages of various ceramics are given in table 7.4
The sintering reactions lead to a densification of the material, resulting in a
reduction of porosity. A product of high strength will be achieved after sintering.
What are the mechanisms that lead to such a large shrinkage?
The processes occurring during the sintering of ceramics are very complex. The
sintering rate is dependent on numerous parameters such as grain size, surface
area, purity, compaction, and sintering atmosphere. The main sintering steps are:

Formation of round pores. If we regard the pressed particles as balls, they

form a gap of specific caro type shape between the particles. At the
contact areas between the round particles the particles form necks, and
between the necks the particle shows a belly. A capillary force motivates
the atoms to move to the neck and fill it up so than a round pore is formed.
The mechanisms of atom movements are diffusion (surface and volume),
evaporation of atoms at the bellies, and condensation at the necks.
Reduction of porosity. In the second step the system reduces its porosity,
which causes shrinkage. The material transport occurs by volume and grain
boundary diffusion. The driving force for the diffusion is the interfacial energy

of the system, Decreasing pore size leads to decreasing interfacial energy

and allows the system to lower its energy. Controlling the diffusion rates is
very important for achieving high densities. The pores should be as long as
possible and located at grain boundaries. Then the shrinkage can carry on.
If the pores lose their grain boundary, they will stay as residual pores in the
inner grain, resulting in a residual porosity.
Sintering is a diffusion controlled process, and we are now at least familiar with
its basic mechanisms. However, the sintering process is quite complex. The main
goal in developing ceramic manufacturing processes is the possibility of reducing
sintering temperatures or, generally speaking, increasing the sintering activity.
Some basic parameters for increasing sintering activity can be concluded:

Small particle sizes and optimum particle size distribution increase sintering
activity. Bimodular particle size distributions, for example, allow and
increase in density after pressing
Applying high external pressure increases the sintering velocity
Liquid phase sintering lead to increases sintering activity owing to high
diffusion rates in the liquid between solid particles

The sintering temperature therefore is dependent on the material is self and on the
manufacturing parameters. Some typical sintering temperatures are given
The volume under stress is to be inserted here for the component volume and the
stress distribution must be identical. This relationship does not apply to
compressive stress stress intensity factor
Ceramic materials are subjected to brittle fracture. The stress intensity factor k1
(mode 1 stands for tensile loading) has been adopted from fracture mechanics to
determine the behavior of brittle materials with respect to crack growth. K1 is
defined as follows


Stress intensity factor in MPa

Applied stress
Crack length
Correction factor depending on the geometry (crack length to specimen
width ratio)

Increasing load and longer inherent cracks will lead to higher stress intensities. If
the specimen or component reaches a critical crack length, ac, it will fail. Hence, a
critical stress intensity factor K1c, can be concluded:

K1c, is given in manufacturers date sheets. In combination with the knowledge of

the crack length, this allows us to calculate a critical applied stress. Ceramics with
high stress intensity factors such as silicon nitride or tetragonal zirconia
polycrystalline (TZP) have a high resistance to crack propagation.
The ceramic product must be reliable and cost must be optimized. Ceramic
manufacturing requires a complex firing process combined with large shrinkage
rates. Every type of forming and treatment process entails certain demands that
must be considered in design. The physical properties of the ceramic and metal
components must also be considered. We are not able to give a comprehensive
picture of the design of ceramic parts in this chapter, but we will explain some
important design guidelines, mainly regarding the mechanical behavior of
Ceramic materials are brittle and their strength is influenced by external stresses,
whereas tensile stresses are particularly critical and by the amount size distribution
of defects. This leads to some important design guidelines

Avoid large tensile stresses

Avoid sharp edges or notches
Apply a large loading area (homogeneous stress distribution)
Avoid point loads (equivalent to previous guideline)
Avoid large temperature gradients
Decrease component volume if possible; use a modular design

We will give a few examples in order to discuss some issue of the design
guidelines. Keep shapes simple and minimize tensile stresses. Shows some
example of simple design guidelines. In each picture the right row of examples
shows the suggested design. The left shows that:

Steps and offsets should be avoided because of stress concentration and

for easier manufacturing
Oval parts should be avoided. In the case of a circular form a more
homogeneous stress distribution will occur during loading
Modular structures are preferred to lower component volume and improved
reliability. The probability of having defects in a small volume is lower than in
a large volume

On the right of figure 7.21 examples for minimizing tensile stresses are shown:

Profiles should be chosen that minimize tensile stresses. In the right

example the ribs are under compressive stress.
Choosing an arch instead of a beam converts tensile into compressive
stresses in this case
The ceramic component is prestressed with a compressive load, and hence
tensile stresses are minimized
Avoid material accumulations and stress concentrations

Figure 7.22 shows some design guidelines for avoiding material accumulations and
stress concentrations. Again, the right side of each picture is the recommended
design. The left side of figure 7.22 suggests that you:

Aim for even wall thickness in extrusions

Separate the nodes
Avoid thick ends on moldings

All three examples are recommended because the component volume under
stress would be reduced, and according to the weibull weakest link concept, this
would lead to a lower probability of failure. The right side of figure 7.22 suggests
that you:

Avoid sudden changes in cross sectional area

Minimize notch like structures
Provide large contact areas
Avoid corners and sharp edges, round inner edges, and cut outs
Avoid long, sharp edges (risk of breakage)

These few examples show the strong dependence of the strength of a ceramic
component on the design. In order to use ceramic material in mechanical
engineering, many more issues must be considered. The final finishing should be
minimized, and it is important that manufacturing details be considered. This
requires a close cooperation between manufacturing and design engineers in order
to get a good ceramic product