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Ceramic Fabrication 101

Ceramic Fabrication

Ceramic Fabrication 101

The term ceramic fabrication can refer to a number of different materials. By definition, ceramic materials are non-metallic, inorganic materials that are made from compounds of a non-metal and a metal. In general, ceramic materials do not conduct electricity or heat and are known to be stiff, strong, and brittle. In today’s fabrication industry, ceramic fabrication involves the cutting of these various materials for a number of purposes, such as creating components for industrial, domestic, and building products.

Types of Ceramics

There are a broad range of ceramic types, from clay materials to aluminum oxide (alumina) to silicon carbide. Due to their extreme reliability and durability, advanced ceramics are often found in machining components in electrical, aerospace, and medical industries. The two main types of ceramic materials include crystalline and non-crystalline ceramics.

Crystalline Ceramics

Crystalline ceramics are typically not amenable to high levels of processing. These materials are usually made into the desired shape through a process called reaction in situ. Powders may also be “formed” into the desired shape and sintered to form the solid body. Ceramic forming techniques include hand-shaping, tape casting, slip casting, dry pressing, injection molding, and the like.

Non-crystalline Ceramics

Non-crystalline ceramics are essentially glasses. The two main processes for shaping glass occur when the material is fully molten, or “blowing” the glass to a mold when it’s in a state that creates a viscosity similar to toffee. Glass-ceramic is formed when later heat treatments are applied to create a partly crystalline state.

Mechanical Properties of Ceramics

The mechanical properties of ceramics play an important role in the use of the material. When electing the right ceramic for applications such as building and structural materials, several properties are considered. These properties include the strength, elasticity, fracture toughness, indentation hardness, compressive strength, and tensile strength.

Fracture Toughness

Fracture toughness describes the ability to resist fracture in a material that contains a crack. A material’s fracture toughness quantitatively describes the material’s ability to resist brittle fracture when force is applied. This property is critical to virtually all design applications of ceramics.

Ceramic Fabrication Professionals

We have expertise in cutting and dicing a variety of ceramic materials. Due to the hard and brittle nature of these materials, ceramic fabrication requires highly specialized machinery and experienced craftsmen. At Innovative Fabrication, we have an extensive range of machinery and the know-how to suit your dicing needs. Call us today to discuss you ceramic fabrication project and how we can help.