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Fine ceramic parts

The future prospects of fine ceramics or technical ceramics

In the future, technical ceramics will play a key role in all established and new professions. Technical ceramics are already known today and are used specifically where solutions with metals are not possible. In the field of innovation, ceramics offers a lot of possibilities to improve existing solutions, where durability and other properties typical for technical ceramics are as mentioned above. I would like to specifically mention some important industries with examples.

Keramikkugel aus Zirkonoxid Keramik für Gleitlager bieten im Bereich des Innovationsgrades sehr viele Möglichkeiten zur Verbesserung bestehender Lösungen, wo Langlebigkeit und andere für die technische Keramik typische Eigenschaften wie oben erwähnt sind. Einige wichtige Industrien möchte ich mit Beispielen speziell erwähnen.
ceramic balls

Technical ceramics for power engineering

There has been research for years on the development of fiber ceramics with higher load limit and load tolerance, as well as to increase the service life. This could make a significant contribution to conserving fossil fuels and protecting the climate. This technology has found its way to the market in isolated applications. Important examples are aerospace, brake disc technology and mechanical engineering. There are efforts to use fiber-reinforced ceramics in stationary gas turbines and aircraft turbines.

A very current topic is energy storage in mobile or stationary battery systems, which, in addition to lithium batteries, will be in particular demand for sodium-sulfur and sodium-nickel chloride batteries. However, there are still high hurdles to mass producing this technology. Some of these are the complex shapes of the ceramic electrolytes, the non-optimal ceramic manufacturing processes, the smallness of the battery cells as well as the cost of the nickel could become cost barriers in the long run. We can be curious how battery technology with technical ceramics will develop in the future.

In the field of renewable energies, especially in the field of magnetic materials, the wind energy sector in particular offers new and attractive development potential for ceramic technology, which leads to a corresponding prioritization of the topic. The development, optimization and applications of magnetic materials is a cemented research field in the EU, especially in Germany. Intensive research is being carried out on ceramic hard magnets, with a specific focus on materials and process technologies.

Technical ceramics for the chemical industry, machinery and plant engineering

The application field of chemistry, machinery and plant engineering is particularly characterized by a wide range of specific requirements for ceramic material properties, but above all by growing challenges with regard to component design, cost-effective adequate manufacturing technologies and the system integration of ceramic components. High-performance ceramics are in strong competition with other material classes and, due to their cost structure, are always dependent on proof of their superior properties. Typical fields of application for technical ceramics today are found in pump applications, such as ceramic plain bearings, seals, and valves. The following advantages or potential solutions will arise in the future for technical ceramics in machine and plant construction. Inspection intervals can be extended, the ceramic plain bearings do not require oil lubrication and tribological properties can be achieved.

The ceramic industry is exposed to the same cost pressure as other industries. Through clear positioning, ceramic companies achieve economic success primarily when the performance advantages of ceramics over other material solutions can be fully exploited. This must always be done by balancing the entire life cycle from raw material to the "end of life scenario".

Future focus will be on the energy efficiency of pumps that meet EU requirements. Ceramic materials which, both oxides and non-oxides, optimize friction coefficients. Materials for highly loaded dry running pumps will be developed, especially composites between metal and ceramic or plastic and ceramic. There will be fundamental studies on the influence of surface finish on the tribological properties of ceramics. There will be investigations in the field of ceramic-compatible construction and design of components of different materials and approaches to solutions will be developed.

Ceramic manufacturing technologies will be fundamentally revised, starting with powder preparation and ending with post-processing after the sintering process. Today's knowledge of technical ceramics is sufficient to implement these parameters in CAM technology in order to develop machining processes in the sense of technical ceramics. This could reduce the cost pressure on the individual companies.

Technical ceramics for life sciences

In the life sciences, especially in the field of medical implantology and prosthetics, non-metallic inorganic materials play an important role. The most important materials in this field of application are structural ceramics. Oxide ceramics have been used in endoprosthetics for more than 40 years. In the beginning, only aluminum oxide ceramics were used, but today they have been largely replaced by mixed oxides based on aluminum oxide and zirconium oxide. In the dental field, zirconium oxide (Y-TZP) is mainly used for dental crowns and bridges. There are now all-ceramic dental implants made of zirconium oxide, which have better strength values than dental implants made of titanium alloys.


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