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Manufacturing Processes

Combining 400 material formulations with an array of forming, firing, and finishing options

At our core, we provide custom ceramic and advanced material manufacturing solutions. By working with customers directly, our engineers specialize and excel in identifying the optimal materials, efficient designs, and manufacturing process methods to meet or exceed the material and manufacturing requirements of the customer’s application.

As a vertically integrated manufacturer, we can control the entire process from powder production through shaping and/or coating. Many projects require additional processes prior to shipment, which are additional in-house capabilities.

No matter the industry – from aircraft armor to medical implants to semiconductors – the possibilities of what we can make are virtually limitless, which is why we have the infinity symbol in our logo. We are making the world measurably better every day, and even expanding into space. Our founders over 110 years ago probably had no idea where we would go with ceramics. But we’re pretty sure they knew the future opportunities would be endless.

Powder Processing

Being a virtually integrated manufacturer means we start from raw materials and deliver fully finished components to customer specifications, giving us full control of the material properties at each step of the manufacturing process. All of our raw materials and technical ceramic formulations are processed in our facilities, ensuring the materials have the necessary characteristics for achieving the desired material properties.

Two men standing near a cylinder ball mill used for manufacturing technical ceramic components.

Powders are processed in a manner suitable for the forming method. For slip casting and tape casting, the powders are combined with water or another chemical formulation to form a liquid. For injection molding and extrusion, the powders are combined with a plastic mix for pliability, which is necessary to force the material into a die under pressure.

For dry powder compaction, the raw materials have properties similar to talcum powder, making it unsuitable for manufacturing due to their poor flow characteristics. Like talcum powder in a container, material tends to stick to the bottom and comes out in clumps when dislodged. To overcome this, the powder is converted into a feedstock that will flow more like a liquid. This is achieved through spray drying.

Because we’re an integrated manufacturer, starting from raw materials and delivering fully finished components to customer specifications, we can control the material properties at each step of the manufacturing process—guaranteeing consistent, unparalleled quality.

Prototyping: The most common approach for prototyping components is green forming. A green part is an unfired, porous powder compact, similar to chalk. While the component is in this chalk-like state, excess material can be removed efficiently to finalize the shape before it is fired in a kiln. For prototyping, simple geometric blanks can be created using existing or low-cost tooling.

Rapid Turn Prototyping: CoorsTek quickly implements customer prototypes and production components and assemblies. Design engineering, material selection, advanced prototyping, component production, and assembly services are provided in a parallel-path, rapid-execution format to ensure the fastest possible delivery.

CoorsTek complies with internationally recognized manufacturing and quality standards including ISO-9001, ISO-14000, and QS-9000.

Manufacturing Processes

 

Forming Methods

 

 

Firing Methods

 

 

Finishing & Coatings

 

Related Information

Looking to further explore the properties of technical ceramics or learn more about component design and manufacturing. Download our award-winning ebooks:

  • A View to a Kiln explores our methods and processes used to manufacture technical ceramic components used in many industry applications. Our engineers take ideas from concept to firing and finishing.

  • Ceramics: The Powerhouse of Advanced Materials explores the various properties of technical ceramics – mechanical, thermal, electrical, and chemical – and how they outperform metals and polymers in a myriad of industries.