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Module: 6

Lecture: 29 Specialized ceramic products

Dr. N. K. Patel

Module: 6
Lecture: 29
SPECIALIZED CERAMIC PRODUCTS AND VITREOUS ENAMEL
4. SPECIALIZED CERAMIC PRODUCTS
Based on the specific requirements/application ceramic material having
special properties are developed and they are as follow
a) Ceramic composites
Materials with different combinations of properties are required in specific
applications like underwater, transportation and aerospace. E.g. in construction of
aircrafts, structural materials should have low densities. At the same time, they should
be strong, stiff, and resistant to abrasion, impact and corrosion. Ceramic composite
like cermet should fulfill such demands. Cermet is intimate mixture of ceramic and
metallic components in the form of powder, which are compacted and sintered.
Cemented carbide is probably the most common cermet which is composed of
extremely hard particles of a refractory carbide ceramic like tungsten carbide or
titanium carbide embedded in a matrix of a metal like cobalt or nickel which
increases toughness of the carbide particles. These carbides are widely used as
cutting tools for hardened steels. Cermet is also used in linings for brakes and
clutches and it is also used as heat shields, rocket nozzles and ram jet chambers in
aerospace application.
Ceramic metal composites can be produce by bonding of the two materials
which are heated below the melting point of individual components. Ceramic
catalyzes the conversion of metal into its oxide. As the metal oxide is formed, crystals
of the oxide grow into the crystal structure of the ceramic materials. Thus the bond
becomes strong between the two phases of the resultant cermet. Metals like Pt, Au,
and Ag exhibit the best bonding with the ceramic phase like Alumina, Magnesia,
Silica, Zirconia, or Beryllia. Their applications are gold coated ceramic wafers for
semiconductor chips, zirconia-lined steel for corrosion resistant uses, and ceramic
capped gold dental crowns. The process is also used for gem setting in gold.
b) Ferroelectric ceramics
Dielectric materials like insulators are known as ferroelectrics, which show
spontaneous polarization in the absence of an electric field e.g. Barium titanate
(BaTiO3) which have very high dielectric constants at relatively low applied field
frequencies and permanent electric dipoles. Another example of ferroelectrics is

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Module: 6
Lecture: 29 Specialized ceramic products

Dr. N. K. Patel

potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4), Rochelle salt (sodium potassium


tartarate- NaK.C4H4O4.4H2O), KH2AsO4, NaTaO3, KTaO3, LiTiO3 etc.
BaTiO3 have piezoelectricity. For piezoelectric application poly crystalline
BaTiO3 is used which is cooled through the curie temperature in the presence of
strong electric field. This imparts permanent orientation to the dipoles in the resulting
ceramic materials.
Piezoelectric materials convert electrical energy into mechanical strains or
vies versa when employed in transducer. They are also employed in phonograph,
pick-ups, microphones and sonar detectors. They are employed in ultrasonic
generators which are used for mixing of powders and paints, homogenisation of
milk, aging of clays and the emulsifying of liquids etc.
High amount of voltage is generated because pressure is applied on
piezoelectric material. The spark that can be drawn from such a high voltage in
used for ignition in gas lighter, cooking stoves and cigarette lighters.
c) Ferromagnetic ceramic
Ferrites are an important class of compounds which having magnetic
properties. It formed by mixing of oxides of Iron with other metals. But they are poor
electrical conductors. Soft ferrites can be easily magnetized and demagnetized.
They are used in transformers, in capacitors, as microwave devices in
communicating radio signals, as memory devices in computers and tape recorders.
While hard ferrites are permanent magnets made from oxides of iron, barium and
strontium. Hard ferrites are used in motors and loudspeakers.
d) Ceramic biomaterials
Ceramics have many advantages as biomaterials. They are light weight,
more wear resistant and not attacked by enzymes and biochemical in the human
body. Ceramics are used in making artificial teeth, bone joints. It is also used in filling
the gaps in damaged bones which is facilitated by the similarity between natural
bone and calcium phosphate ceramics.
e) High alumina ceramic
They are mechanically strong dense and special ceramic material. They
possess good wear resistance, corrosion resistance and dimensional stability. So they
are used in insulators for electrostatic precipitators. It is also used in linings for mining
chutes and slides and in making of precision machine parts.
f) Sensors
When ceramic material is exposed to water vapour and certain gases it
transforms non-electrical signals into electrical ones. Humidity sensors are made from

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Module: 6
Lecture: 29 Specialized ceramic products

Dr. N. K. Patel

mixture of titanium oxide and magnesium chromates while gas sensors usually
ceramic semiconductors made from oxides of titanium, iron, tin, silver and zinc.
g) Ceramic superconductors
Ceramics which had been used as insulating materials could be better than
conductors. They are high temperature superconductors and show zero electrical
resistance. It can be prepared by fusing an oxide of barium and copper. Thus if
cables are made of superconducting material, one-fifth of the loss of electricity
during its transmission through aluminium or copper wires is avoided.
Super conductors can repel magnet and also applied in super-fast
magnetically levitated trains. It is also used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
which is a modern diagnostic tool.
h) Ionic conduction
Ceramics materials are made into sodium-sulfur batteries which are used in
electric cars. Ions become mobile at high temperatures and able to carry electrical
charge across them is known as ionic conductivity.

5. VITREOUS ENAMEL
Besides flux and refractories, oxidizing agents such as pyrolusite, red lead and
nitre are included for the formation of enamel. In the formation of enamel colouring
agents, floating agents and free electrolytes are required. Lead oxide, boric acid,
potassium and sodium oxide are easily fusible compounds at lower temperature so
considered as fluxes. Refractories include feldspar; quartz and clay contribute to the
acidic part of the melt and give body to the glass. The basic part is supplied by the
flux.

MANUFACTURE
Raw materials
The raw materials used for the manufacture of enamel are feldspar quartz,
kaolin quartz and feldspar contribute to the hardness and resistance to the action of
acid of the enamel.

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Kaolin lends plasticity


Fluxes: boric acid, borax
Flux as well as oxidation agents: Red lead and lead carbonate
Opacifiers: TiO2 SnO2, ZrO2, fluorspar, cryolite
Floating agent: Clay and gums
Colouring agents: Oxides, elements or frits
Electrolytes: borax, Na2CO3, MgSO4 and MgCO3
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Module: 6
Lecture: 29 Specialized ceramic products

Dr. N. K. Patel

Manufacture
The manufacture of enamel glass (frit) is similar to the first stage of
manufacture of ordinary glass. The finely powdered raw materials are mixed in
proper proportioned and charged into a melting furnace. After the batch has been
uniformly melted, the melt is poured into a quenching tank to granulate it. The cold
water shatters the melt to innumerable pieces, which are called frit. The frit is then
ground into ball mill with porcelain balls where plastic clay is added to prevent the
separation of water from the powdered material. Than colouring agents and
opacifiers are used for milling. After milling the product is discharged and in the form
of thick enamel slip.
Articles of high carbon steels and of cast iron can be enameled. But before
the application surface of these objects should be cleaned thoroughly of all foreign
matters so that the coating of enamel may adhere well.
Enamel may be applied to the metal by slushing, brushing or spraying. e.g.
Iron sheet, or iron pieces are coated by dipping or slushing. In slushing enamel slips is
poured over the metal surface to allow the excess run off.

PROPERTIES
Vitreous enamel is opaque seldom transparent, coloured or colourless flux. It is
easily fusible material

USES
It is used as protective or decorative agent to coat the surface of glass,
porcelain and metals particularly iron sheets.

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